John Rutherford plans run for Congress

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - John Rutherford, who is retiring after three terms as sheriff of Jacksonville, announced Tuesday morning that that he is planning to run for a seat in Congress.

Rutherford, 62, made the announcement during an impromptu call into WJCT-FM's First Coast Connect that he's running for the the 6th Congressional District, a seat that will open in 2016 because Rep. Ron DeSantis is running for U.S. Senate.

"I think it would be a very honorable way to continue to serve the citizens of Florida.  It's about the values I can take to Washington, DC," Rutherford said.

The Senate seat will be open because Marco Rubio is running the Republican presidential nomination. 

"Oh, Melissa, I knew you'd go there!" Rutherford laughingly told WJCT host Melissa Ross when he called into the show. "Yes, I am eyeing that seat. We are looking at putting a team together as we speak."

Rutherford currently does not current live in that district -- which covers St. Johns and Flagler counties, as well as southern Putnam and northern Volusia counties.

DeSantis, a Tea Party favorite, is the only Republican candidate in the Senate race so far.  South Florida Democratic Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy is also in the race.

Rutherford, who strongly endorsed Mike Williams to be the next sheriff, spoke about his future at Williams' victory party Tuesday night.

"It's about the values I can take to Washington, D.C.," Rutherford said. "I think it would be a very honorable way to continue to serve the citizens of Florida."

Copyright 2015 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.