The year began with four Republicans, a Democrat, a candidate with no party affiliation and two write-in candidates vying for Florida's redrawn and re-branded 3rd Congressional District. 

Eleven-term incumbent Cliff Stearns was upset by Gainesville veterinarian Ted Yoho in the Republican primary in the district that was moved a little further toward west and south in redistricting earlier this year.  The district no longer covers Jacksonville's Westside or Baker County. The new district picks up most of Clay and Bradford counties and includes Columbia and Union counties, then stretches to the southwest and the Gulf of Mexico.

Scroll down and read about Yoho, along with Democrat J.R. Gaillot and independent Philip Dodds, who will be on the ballot in the November General Election.

Philip Dodds


PARTY: No party affiliation

RESIDENCE: Alachua

AGE: 39

FAMILY: Married; Three children

OCCUPATION: Software product manager; small business owner

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in mathematics, minor in physics from the University of Florida

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  None; worked in private industry

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?

  1. "If you solve the corruption, the other two become much easier to resolve.
  2. "I am an independent candidate who will propose solutions that are WIN/WIN as much as possible. The political parties create simplistic solutions aimed at tearing down the other party; independents are free to take positions that best represent their constituents.
  3. "I am running to be a Direct Representative. My opinion will not matter. Nor will the demands of special interests matter. North Florida voters will decide and direct my vote."

HOW CAN YOU HELP VOTERS IN A WAY THAT OTHERS RUNNING FOR THIS OFFICE CANNOT?

  • "My goal is to work with North Florida to show the country a better way - how can we remove special interest corruption and Washington Big Party politics? How can we put the people back into power? [Who else should be in charge?] My answer: 1) Pledge to never take lobbyist or special interest money 2) Direct Representation - ask the people for their positions and then vote as directed [stop asking lobbyists and party insiders how they want things] 3) Be Independent. My opponents are good people but they are working within the failing system of traditional politics - I am looking for the support of voters who want to change the game of politics and put the people back in charge."

WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?

  • "Politicians talk a lot about serving the people, but they let us down over and over. Here is why: There is no way politicians are serving the people faithfully when they owe so much to special interests and political parties. No way. You can serve special interests and parties or you can serve the people –but not both. I want North Florida's help to show the nation what can happen when we change the way the whole game is played. North Florida is going to have the only Independent in the U.S. House of Representatives. We are going to have the only Representative that will not take the money. We will have "Direct Representation" - the people of North Florida will vote from a website like this https://dodds.directrep.us and their vote will direct the vote in Washington. Looking back, we will be proud of our accomplishments: Together, we will have shrunk government bloated by special interests and parties, shrunk the debt before reaching a financial catastrophe; returned our liberties and halted government's encroachment on free speech, privacy, etc; retooled our education system; scaled back our expensive quest for world Empire; reworked free trade so that industry and agriculture could return home; produced an energy policy that would remove our dependence on foreign and harmful energy; eliminated the systemic risk of Too Big To Fail financial institutions that were profiting at the taxpayer's expense and risking global economic collapse; and we did all that and more by reducing the corruption of old school politicians and by bringing the will of the people back into government. There are big problems that face the American people, but they are resolvable -- IF we are willing to take charge and change the game of politics. My big party opponents are unknowns -- this is North Florida's chance to elect a new kind of Representative. A Free Independent. A Direct Representative."

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:  PhilDoddsForCongress.com
SOCIAL MEDIA:  Facebook.com/phildoddsforcongress | @PhilDodds2012

Ted Yoho


PARTY: Republican

RESIDENCE: Gainesville

AGE:  57

FAMILY:  Wife of 37 years, Carolyn; 3 three grown children: Katie, Lauren and Tyler

OCCUPATION:  Large animal veterinarian and conservative businessman

EDUCATION:  Bachelor's and doctorate of veterinary medicine from University of Florida

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  N/A

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?

  1. "Economy and cutting down rules, regulations and mandates: The rules, regulations and mandates are killing businesses and families all over the Country. Government has created a climate of confusion where in reality they should be creating an environment of certainty. We can jump start the economy by getting rid of the over-burdensome regulations which will help create jobs. An example of this is Obamacare. A supporter of ours has 300 employees. When he sat down with his senior staff and a representative from the government to find out what impact Obamacare would have on his business, he realized that he could not hire the additional 100 employees he needed because Obamacare was going to cost him approximately $200 a month per employee which translated to $60,000 additional each month. It's this kind of legislation that is killing our economy and our jobs. If we take a common sense approach to government, we can get our economy going again.
  2. "Getting back to our founding principles, core values and the Constitution: We are obviously on the wrong track in our Nation. With government growing bigger everyday, we are seeing the erosion of our liberties and freedoms. Before any more legislation is passed, the question needs to be asked, "Is it Constitutional?" We must get back to the basics.
  3. "Simplifying our tax code: I am a proponent of the Fair Tax. As a veterinarian, I have dealt with many of this regions farmers and ranchers and the inheritance tax is a big issue for them as it prohibits them from passing the family farms to the next generation. The corporate and captial gains tax are killing businesses large and small which in turn are hurting families because much of those taxes get passed along to the consumer. By building a coalition of like-minded Representatives, we can pass the Fair Tax and bring some certainty to the market. It's based on consumption and is thus fair. Finally, the government cannot use our tax system to divide our nation by inciting class warfare."

HOW CAN YOU HELP VOTERS IN A WAY THAT OTHERS RUNNING FOR THIS OFFICE CANNOT?

  • "In this race, I am the only non-politician. I have been a businessman and large animal veterinarian for the last 30 years so I bring a different perspective to the table. Unlike the entrenched politician, I have been in the trenches working just like the people of this district have been so I understand how it feels to be on the receiving end of the rules, regulations, mandates and garbage legislation. I've been both the employer and the employee and I remember how it feels to sign both sides of a paycheck. More than ever, we need a working man's perspective and some common sense in Washington. I can deliver that. Further, I am going to Washington to solve problems - not continue to 'work' on them."

WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?

  • "I would like to remembered for being a man of my word and for helping get our Country back on track towards a Constitutional Republic."

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: TedYoho.com
SOCIAL MEDIA:  Facebook.com/tedyohoforcongress | @TedYoho
MORE ONLINE:  Associated Press profile of Ted Yoho | Campaign finances

J.R. Gaillot


PARTY:  Democratic

RESIDENCE: Fleming Island

AGE: 43

FAMILY: Three Children

OCCUPATION: Consultant

EDUCATION: B.A., University of Hartford

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  None

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?

  1. "Jobs and the Economy
  2. "Protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security
  3. "Protecting and Ensuring Equal Rights for Women"


HOW CAN YOU HELP VOTERS IN A WAY THAT OTHERS RUNNING FOR THIS OFFICE CANNOT?

  • "I can help make your life just a little bit easier because I know the struggles you face, I know the hardships and the sacrifices. I know these things because you and I are the same. I will go to bed each night thinking of ways to make things just that little bit better for your families. I will wake up each morning and work to bring jobs back to our district. I will fight to keep the ones we have and I will work with anyone of any party if it means helping this district. I will be accountable to you for my decisions and you will never have to wonder whether I voted a certain way for my own personal gain. I am not going to Washington to be a Democrat or a Republican or a career politician. I am going to Washington to do your work, and to help you. I will get the job done by any means necessary."


WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?

  • "I would hope to be remembered as a key to the economic turnaround that I know we can achieve in our district. I want to be remembered as a spark plug for bringing jobs and businesses back into our great state. I want to be remembered as the Congressman who helped make your lives better."


CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:JRGaillot.com
SOCIAL MEDIA:  Facebook/JRforCongress | @JRGaillot
MORE ONLINE: Associated Press profile of J.R. Gaillot | Campaign finances

Qualified write-in candidates in the 3rd Congressional District:

  • Kenneth Willey
  • Michael Ricks