Kat Cammack wins 10-candidate primary for Congress; Rutherford, Lawson survive challenges

All NE Florida congressional candidates face opponents in November

Congressional seats in North Central and Northeast Florida (Source: Florida Senate)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Kat Cammack, the former deputy chief of staff of retiring U.S. Rep. Ted Yoto won a 10-way Republican primary race to replace her former boss in District 3, which stretches from Clay County west to Gainesville and south to Ocala.

The 32-year-old Cammack owns a political consulting firm. She prominently featured her connection to Yoho during the campaign.

Cammack’s 25% of the vote propels her into the general election to face Democrat Adam Christensen, who narrowly prevailed in his three-way primary.

“I am so honored to have earned the trust and support of the voters,” Cammack said in a statement Tuesday night. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you to our team of supporters and volunteers who gave it all for months to ensure we secured this victory. I look forward to continuing to work hard to ensure us Republicans hold this seat in November and to bring a fresh conservative voice Washington next year.”

“Christensen’s campaign also released a statement after his victory, saying it was the only primary victory of a progressive candidate in the Florida primary.

“Mr. Christensen believes that Florida has been overlooked in politics for far too long and that this year more than ever before, as Yoho is retiring, presents an opportunity to bring real change to local and national politics,” the statement reads.

In District 4, incumbent Rep. John Rutherford early 80% of the Republican primary to advance to the general election against Democrat Donna Deegan in this district that covers Nassau County and much of Jacksonville and northern St. Johns County.

“I think there’s going to be a very clear, binary choice here,” Rutherford said of his November matchup against Deegan. “We have very conservative principals we’ve been very successful with those very conservative principles but working across the aisle as well and trying to be inclusive.”

Incumbent Rep. Al Lawson won 55% of the vote in a three-way Democratic primary in District 5 -- which stretches from Jacksonville’s urban core to Tallahassee. He will face Republican Gary Adler, who won that primary, in November.

In District 6, which includes southern St. Johns and all of Flagler and Volusia counties, Clint Curtis narrowly won a Democratic primary. He will face incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Daytona, who drew no primary opponent.

ELECTION 2020 PRIMARY RESULTS: Northeast Florida congressional districts

Tuesday’s low-key voting took place as a record number of Floridians opted to cast their ballots by mail, after elections officials encouraged voters to take advantage of the state’s no-excuse vote-by-mail system to curb the spread of COVID-19.

More than 2.6 million Floridians cast ballots ahead of Tuesday’s primary, with nearly 80% voting by mail -- shattering records for mail-in voting among worries about in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

At precincts across Northeast Florida, there was no trouble social distancing as there were few lines or crowds. At many polling places, there were more sign wavers outside than voters inside voting.

Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee said during a news conference Tuesday that election supervisors in all 67 counties had reported that polling stations were open and well-equipped. She also said she contacted the U.S. Postal Service to make sure ballots in the mail would be expedited.

About the Author:

Digital election producer in 2022. He created WJXT.com in 1995 and managed The Local Station's website through 2021.