Connie Mack III

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Connie Mack III
United States Senator
from Florida
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Lawton Chiles
Succeeded by Bill Nelson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 13th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1989
Preceded by William Lehman
Succeeded by Porter Goss
Personal details
Born Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy III
(1940-10-29) October 29, 1940 (age 75)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ludie Priscilla Hobbs
Relations Connie Mack (grandfather)
Morris Sheppard (grandfather)
Tom Connally (step-grandfather)
Children Connie Mack IV
Alma mater University of Florida

Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy III (born October 29, 1940), popularly known as Connie Mack, is an American Republican politician. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Florida (1983-89) and then as a Senator (1989-2001). He served as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference (1997–2001). He was considered as the Vice-Presidential nominee on the GOP ticket by Bob Dole in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2000, although Jack Kemp and Dick Cheney, respectively, were chosen instead.

Early life, education, and family[edit]

Mack was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1940, the son of Susan (née Sheppard) and Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy, Jr.[1] He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1966. He is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and Florida Blue Key.

He is the grandson of Connie Mack (1862–1956), former owner and manager of baseball's Philadelphia Athletics and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mack's maternal grandfather was Morris Sheppard, U.S. Senator and Representative from Texas, and later his maternal step-grandfather was Tom Connally, the other U.S. Senator from Texas (Sheppard's widow married Connally the year after Sheppard died).[2] His father was of Irish descent. Mack's maternal great-grandfather was John Levi Sheppard, who was also a U.S. Representative from Texas. His son, Connie Mack IV, a former Florida State Representative, was elected to his father's old U.S. House seat in 2004 and was married to U.S. congresswoman Mary Bono Mack of California, the widow of Sonny Bono, another U.S. Congressman from California; they later divorced.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


U.S. House elections

After redistricting, incumbent Democrat U.S. Congressman William Lehman's district was renumbered from the 13th to the 17th. For the open seat in the 13th district, Mack qualified for a run-off election in October against State Representative Ted Ewing 58% to 42%.[3] In the November general election, he won with 65% of the vote.[4] In 1984, he won re-election with unopposed and in 1986 won with 75% of the vote.

1988 U.S. Senate election

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Lawton Chiles decided to retire. After three terms in the U.S. House, Mack decided to retire and run for the U.S. Senate. He won the primary with 62% of the vote against Robert Merkle.[5] In the general election, he defeated Democratic U.S. Congressman Buddy Mackay with just 50% of the vote.[6]

1994 U.S. Senate election

In the general election, he defeated Democratic attorney Hugh Rodham (brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton) 71% to 29%. He won every county in the state.[7] As of 2012, he is the only Republican Senator in Florida history to get elected to more than one term.


During his congressional career, U.S. Senator Mack played a role[citation needed] in the passage of laws dealing with health care, financial modernization, modification of the tax code and public housing reform. A cancer survivor, Senator Mack has also been a strong advocate for cancer research, early detection and treatment.[citation needed] Senator Mack led a historic bipartisan congressional effort to double funding for biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health and worked tirelessly to secure the necessary appropriations.[citation needed] He also secured Medicare coverage for clinical trials, and was a leading Republican advocate of the Women's Health Initiative and efforts to strengthen and reform the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.[citation needed] He has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards over the years, including the 1999 National Coalition for Cancer Research Lifetime Achievement Award, American Cancer Society’s 1992 Courage Award and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s Betty Ford Award.

Mack helped define the framework of landmark legislation to allow the financial industry to respond appropriately to the increasing demands of an aggressive global marketplace.[citation needed] He has a long history of fighting for debt-deficit reduction. He co-authored and introduced into the House the landmark Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction law. Mack was also instrumental in passage of the landmark Everglades Restoration Act, which was signed into law on December 11, 2000.

He decided to retire in 2000 and not run for re-election to a third term. Democratic U.S. Congressman Bill Nelson won the open seat. Mack's son, U.S. Congressman Connie Mack IV, ran against Nelson in the United States Senate election in Florida, 2012 and lost.[8]

Post-congressional career[edit]

In 2005, Connie Mack III was appointed by President George W. Bush as Chairman of the President's Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform. That same year, he was featured in Castles In The Sun, a documentary about the development of Cape Coral. Mack's father, Connie Mack, Jr., had worked as a public relations man for Leonard and Jack Rosen, the brothers who built Cape Coral from a wasteland into a waterfront wonderland. Connie Mack III went to work for the company (Gulf American Corporation) as a teenager.

In 2005, the producer interviewed Connie Mack III at his Palm Island home in Florida. Mack talked about his father and grandfather; and the influence they and the land developers had on his life.[9]

Since early 2007, Connie Mack, III has served as the Senior Policy Advisor to Liberty Partners of Tallahassee, a Florida-based lobbying firm.

On April 15, 2010, Mack resigned as campaign chairman for Charlie Crist's race for the U.S. Senate.[10]


External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Lehman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 13th congressional district

Succeeded by
Porter J. Goss
United States Senate
Preceded by
Lawton Chiles
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Florida
Served alongside: Bob Graham
Succeeded by
Bill Nelson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Trent Lott
Vice-Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Paul Coverdell
Preceded by
Thad Cochran
Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Rick Santorum
Preceded by
Van B. Poole
Republican nominee for United States Senator
from Florida
(Class 1)

1988, 1994
Succeeded by
Bill McCollum