Monday, April 18, 2016
Comm'r Bill McClure Files to Run For Congress
Commissioner Bill McClure files to run for U.S. House seat
Posted: April 18, 2016 - 11:57pm | Updated: April 19, 2016 - 12:24am
By STUART KORFHAGE
St. Johns County Commissioner Bill McClure is preparing to take the next step in his political career by running for the open District 4 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Republican is aiming to replace Rep. Ander Crenshaw, who recently announced he would not seek re-election.
McClure is in the final year of his first term as a county commissioner, the first elected office he’s held.
The district was redrawn last year and includes parts of Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties. McClure said he has ties in every county. He and his wife own homes in both Duval and St. Johns counties.
McClure has one son in school in this county and another son at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville. He has two stepdaughters who graduated from Bishop Kenny High in Duval.
“I’m a Northeast Florida person who has been representing Northeast Florida for a long time,” he said. “It’s important to be a good representative of the area. I need to be an advocate for the area.”
In addition to being a commissioner, he has worked on the St. Johns and Nassau County Economic Development Team and with both the St. Johns and Nassau county Chambers of Commerce. He also serves on the Northeast Florida Regional Council, which is a “network of local governance,” serving seven counties.
It remains to be seen whether that will be enough to sway voters in the region. He’ll have to run against fellow Republican and former Jacksonville sheriff John Rutherford, who has been endorsed by Mayor Lenny Curry.
“I’m really not worried about who else is running,” said McClure, who filed to run for office on Wednesday.
McClure said the current presidential election has shown that the public is willing to support candidates outside the party establishment if they represent ideas the voters value.
In running for election to the County Commission, McClure did not seek campaign donations and conducted more of a grassroots campaign.
“The Republican Party has traditionally been a donor-class party,” McClure said. “Finally this year we’ve seen a breakup of that.
“This election cycle is turning it upside down. As Republicans, we actually owe a lot of thanks to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for going against the party normal of the past.”
McClure said he strongly supports the conservative principles of fiscal responsibility and fiscal transparency. He said he has tried to make those the legacy of his time on the County Commission.
“‘Putting people, not politics first,’ that’s my campaign slogan,” McClure said.
On Monday, Duval County Tax Collector Michael Corrigan told the Times-Union that he is still “working through the decision-making process” about a run for the District 4 seat.
Former Jacksonville City Council president Richard Clark said Monday that he is “planning solely” to run for the Florida House. State Rep. Lake Ray announced on Twitter that he will form a committee “to explore running for Congressman Crenshaw’s seat.” Jerry Holland, a former Jacksonville city councilman and elections supervisor and the current Duval property appraiser, will not run for the 4th Congressional District seat.