Connie Mack III

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Connie Mack III
United States Senator
from Florida
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byLawton Chiles
Succeeded byBill Nelson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 13th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1989
Preceded byWilliam Lehman
Succeeded byPorter Goss
Personal details
Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy III

(1940-10-29) October 29, 1940 (age 83)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseLudie Priscilla Hobbs
ChildrenConnie Mack IV
RelativesConnie Mack (grandfather)
Morris Sheppard (grandfather)
Tom Connally (step-grandfather)
Earle Mack (paternal uncle)
Roy Mack (paternal uncle)
Alma materUniversity of Florida (BBA)

Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy III (born October 29, 1940), also known as Connie Mack III, is an American former Republican politician. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Florida from 1983 to 1989 and then as a Senator from 1989 to 2001. He served as chairperson of the Senate Republican Conference from 1997 to 2001.

He was considered for the Republican vice-presidential nomination by Bob Dole in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2000. Jack Kemp and Dick Cheney, respectively, were chosen instead. He is the grandson of Connie Mack (1862–1956), former owner and manager of baseball's Philadelphia Athletics and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. "The Macks" were once considered one of the major political dynasties in the United States.[1]

Early life, education, and family[edit]

Mack was born Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy III[2] in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1940, the son of Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy Jr. and Susan (née Sheppard) McGillicuddy.[3] 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.

His paternal grandfather was 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. His maternal step-grandfather was Tom Connally, who also served as U.S. Senator from Texas; Mack's widowed grandmother married Connally the year after Sheppard died.[4] Mack's father's line were Irish immigrants. Mack's maternal great-grandfather was John Levi Sheppard, who served as a U.S. Representative from Texas.

Congressional career[edit]


U.S. House elections[edit]

Mack made his first run for public office in 1982, when he ran in the Republican primary for the 13th District, a newly created district along the Gulf Coast that stretched from Sarasota to Naples. The old 13th, represented by Democrat William Lehman, had been renumbered as the 17th district. Mack led the field in a crowded four-way Republican primary with 28 percent of the vote and won a run-off election in October against State Representative Ted Ewing 58% to 42%.[5] In the November general election, he won with 65% of the vote.[6] In 1984, he won re-election unopposed and in 1986 won with 75% of the vote.

1988 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Lawton Chiles decided to retire. After three terms in the U.S. House, Mack decided to run for the U.S. Senate. He won the primary with 62% of the vote against Robert Merkle.[7] In the general election, he defeated Democratic U.S. Congressman Buddy Mackay with just 50% of the vote.[8]

1994 U.S. Senate election[edit]

In the general election, Mack defeated Democratic attorney Hugh Rodham (brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton) 71% to 29%, winning every county in the state.[9] He was the only Republican Senator in Florida history to get elected to more than one term until Marco Rubio did so in 2016.


During his congressional career, Mack supported [10] the passage of laws dealing with health care, fiscal policies, modification of the tax code, and public housing reform. A cancer survivor, Mack has also been a strong advocate for cancer research, early detection and treatment.[11] Mack led a bipartisan congressional effort to double funding for biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health and worked to secure the necessary appropriations.[12] He also secured Medicare coverage for clinical trials and was a leading Republican advocate of the Women's Health Initiative.[13] He worked to strengthen and reform the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.[14]

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

He decided to retire in 2000 rather than run for re-election to a third term.[15] Democrat Bill Nelson, the Florida State Treasurer and a former U.S. Representative, won the open seat. Mack's son, U.S. Congressman Connie Mack IV, ran unsuccessfully against Nelson in 2012.[16]


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. Since early 2007, Mack 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.[18]

Representation in other media[edit]

  • In 2005, Mack was featured in Castles in the Sun, a documentary about the development of Cape Coral. His father Connie Mack, Jr. had worked as a public relations man for Leonard and Jack Rosen, the brothers who developed Cape Coral as a waterfront resort. The producer interviewed Connie Mack III at his Palm Island, Florida home.[19]


  1. ^ "The biggest political dynasty in all 50 states". The Washington Post.
  2. ^ "Connie Mack III Political Papers". George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  3. ^ "mack". Archived from the original on January 9, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "U.S. Senate: Art & History Home > Origins & Development > Senate Spouses". Archived from the original on March 7, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2006.
  5. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL District 13 - R Runoff Race - Oct 05, 1982".
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL District 13 Race - Nov 02, 1982".
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL US Senate- R Primary Race - Sep 06, 1988".
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL US Senate Race - Nov 08, 1988".
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL US Senate Race - Nov 08, 1994".
  10. ^ III, Connie Mack. "Connie Mack III". Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  11. ^ (1991). Mack/Breaux bill will encourage cancer screening. Cancer Weekly. p. 13.
  12. ^ "Senator Connie Mack | Liberty Partners Group". libertypartnersgroup. Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  13. ^ Abraham, Spencer (September 26, 2000). "Cosponsors - S.3112 - 106th Congress (1999-2000): Medicare Access to Digital Mammography Act of 2000". Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  14. ^ Jeffords, James M. (November 21, 1997). "Cosponsors - S.830 - 105th Congress (1997-1998): Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997". Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  15. ^ "Retirement Announcement |". Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  16. ^ Munzenrieder, Kyle (November 7, 2012). "Connie Mack's Wife, Mary Bono Mack, May Have Lost Her Election Last Night Too". Miami New Times.
  17. ^ "Connie Mack Collection » Health Science Center Archives » UF Academic Health Center » University of Florida". Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  18. ^ "Former Florida Sen. Mack Quits Crist Campaign". Fox News. March 27, 2015.
  19. ^ Castles in the Sun: The Cape Coral Story, documentary about the development of Cape Coral, Florida; written and produced by William Tremper

External links[edit]

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

Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 1) from Florida
Served alongside: Bob Graham
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Vice-Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Preceded by Republican nominee for United States Senator
from Florida
(Class 1)

1988, 1994
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Senator Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Senator
Succeeded byas Former US Senator