Republicans in SW Florida are lining up to run for congress, now that Connie Mack IV has decided to go for the U.S. Senate. One filed papers to run on Thursday, others are exploring runs for what may be 2 open seats.
"I am running for sure, because I have talked with people who are frustrated with the economy. The issue is jobs and the fact that America is not on the right track," said Lee Commissioner Tammy Hall. She filed papers to run in the 14th congressional district. She has been exploring a run for some time now.
Dudley Goodlette of Naples also is talking with supporters about a run.
"I have the fire in the belly to do this. I also know that I am 110 percent convinced, I can win the election and do the job of serving the district. Otherwise, I would not think of running," Goodlette told WINK News.
Goodlette is a former state representative.
Current representative Gary Aubuchon of Cape Coral also is considering a run. He told WINK he will talk with family members and others before making a final decision.
SW Florida could get 2 congressional seats after redistricting. FGCU Public Affairs Prof. Peter Bergerson told WINK: "They will be ripping their shirts to get at pens to sign the filing papers to run for the open seat. There will be a lot of meetings and raising money. It will depend on money, endorsements, organization, and communicating with the public. It will be interesting."
Others who might consider runs: Chauncey Goss, son of former congressman Porter Goss, and Burt Saunders, a former state senator who lives in Collier County. Saunders told WINK that he would want to see the redistricting lines, before deciding on a run. Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp has been rumored to be interested in a run, although on Thursday, he accepted the job as Chief Executive Officer of a bio-tech company. Ray Judah, Lee Co. Commissioner, told WINK News that the news of the Mack run for senate surprised him. He said he would not decide on a possible congressional run, until he is convinced that Mack really is going for the senate.
The Republican primary will occur late next summer.