John Rutherford (Florida politician)

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John Rutherford
John Rutherford official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byAnder Crenshaw
Sheriff of Duval County, Florida
In office
July 1, 2003 – July 1, 2015
Preceded byNat Glover
Succeeded byMike Williams
Personal details
Born (1952-09-02) September 2, 1952 (age 66)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Patricia Rutherford (m. 1973)
Children2
EducationFlorida State College at Jacksonville
Florida State University (BS)
WebsiteHouse website

John Henry Rutherford (born September 2, 1952) is an American law enforcement officer and politician who is the U.S. Representative for Florida's 4th congressional district. He was an officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and served as Duval County Sheriff from 2003 to 2015.

Early life and education[edit]

John Rutherford was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1952.[1] Rutherford's father was in the US Navy and was serving in Korea at the time of his son's birth. In the 1950s, Rutherford's family moved to Jacksonville, Florida. He worked as a grocery stock clerk after graduating high school. He surfed in his free time.[2] In 1972, he earned his associates degree from Florida Junior College, followed by his BS in criminology from Florida State University in 1974.[1]

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office[edit]

Rutherford as Jacksonville sheriff

Rutherford joined the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in 1974 and rose to the rank of Captain. He has commanded a number of divisions, including Arson, Burglary, the Police Academy and Patrol on the Southside. He also served as Chief of Services, Traffic and Special Operations, and Chief of Patrol.[3]

In 1995, Rutherford was appointed as Director of Corrections under then-Sheriff Nat Glover and held that title for 8 years.[citation needed]

Rutherford ran for the office of Jacksonville Sheriff in 2003. A candidate for the Jacksonville City Council filed a complaint against Rutherford in February, alleging violations of the Federal Hatch Act of 1939, which prohibits employees working for federally funded agencies from running for office in partisan elections. Rutherford consulted a lawyer, and was told there was no conflict, but retired anyway, in order to remove any doubt, with 28 years of service.[4] Rutherford subsequently won the election, becoming the Sheriff of Jacksonville on July 1, 2003.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Rutherford meeting with Vice President Mike Pence on board Air Force Two, March 2017

2016 campaign[edit]

Rutherford announced his candidacy for Florida's 4th congressional district on April 15, 2016.[5] Originally he announced he would run for Florida's 6th congressional district in 2015.[6] On August 30, 2016, he won the Republican primary with 38.7% of the vote, beating Lake Ray, Hans Tanzler III and Bill McClure.[7] He faced David Bruderly in the general election and won, becoming only the fifth person to represent this district since its creation in 1943 (it was the 2nd District from 1943 to 1967, the 3rd District from 1967 to 1993, and has been the 4th since 1993).

Tenure[edit]

On January 11, 2017, Rutherford collapsed on the floor of the House, in what was described as an "acute digestive flare up".[8] [9][10] He was taken to the hospital, and was released January 21.[11][12]

He is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership[13] and the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus.[14]

Committee assignments[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Gun policy[edit]

Rutherford supports concealed carry reciprocity, voting for two such measures in the U. S. House in November 2017.[15] In 2017, Rutherford signed a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives expressing his support for legislation to ban bump stocks.[16] From 2015–2016, Rutherford accepted $1,000 USD in campaign donations from the NRA's Political Victory Fund.[17]

In 2018, Rutherford sponsored a bill to "strengthen school safety and security", which required a two-thirds vote for passage, given it was brought up under an expedited process. The House voted 407-10 to approve the bill, which would provide $50 million a year for "a new federal grant program to train students, teachers and law enforcement on how to spot and report signs of gun violence". Named STOP (Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing) School Violence Act, it would "develop anonymous telephone and online systems where people could report threats of violence." At the same time, it would authorize $25 million for schools to "improve and harden their security, such as installing new locks, lights, metal detectors and panic buttons." A separate spending bill would be required to provide money for the grant program.[18]

Federal budget[edit]

Rutherford supports a balanced budget amendment and wants to see a smaller federal government, an end to corporate welfare, and "out-of-control" federal regulatory overreach. He also wants to see a stop to new spending until the budget is balanced.[19]

Human rights[edit]

Rutherford supports efforts regarding LGBT rights and says "I don't believe that anyone should be discriminated against because of who they are or whom they love." He believes that the federal government has a duty to implement "careful...non-discriminatory operations" including protections for LGBT people.[19]

Social issues[edit]

Cannabis[edit]

Rutherford is against legalizing marijuana. He voted against medicinal marijuana legalization in Florida in 2014, believing after legalizing medical marijuana recreational marijuana would be next.[1]

Crime[edit]

Rutherford is "skeptical" of shorter prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.[1]

He authored the Students, Teachers and Officers Prevent (STOP) School Violence Act, that would "authorize $50 million a year in new federal grants to help educate students, faculty and law enforcement learn how to spot and report warning signs of potential gun violence." As of March 2018, he reportedly has been "pressing leadership and appropriators" to include said funding for the bipartisan bill (it has more than 75 co-sponsors) in the omnibus spending bill.[20]

Immigration and refugees[edit]

Rutherford supports increased border security and immigration reform. He calls "immigration the lifeblood of American history." He says "ignoring illegal immigration is foolish, dangerous, and erodes public and international confidence in our rule of law." He supports providing avenues to enable immigrants and refugees to move to America, including using E-Verify. Rutherford wants the federal government to invest funding to communities to assist with refugee relocations.[19]

Tax reform[edit]

Rutherford voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[21] Rutherford claims that new tax plan will benefit "hardworking Americans" and that it is "a good thing for taxpayers, it’s a good thing for business, it’s gunna be great for our economy."[22]

Elections[edit]

Rutherford campaigned for Duval County sheriff, running against fellow Republicans David Anderson and Lem Sharp. In the election on April 15, 2003, Rutherford won 135,038 votes, 78 percent of the total. He took office on July 1, 2003. Rutherford was re-elected in 2007[23] and 2011.[24]

On August 30, 2016, he won the Republican Primary for Florida's 4th Congressional District.[25]

2016 Florida 4th Congressional District Republican Primary Results[26]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Rutherford 38,688 38.7%
Republican Lake Ray 20,111 20.1%
Republican Hans Tanzler III 18,999 19.0%
Republican Bill McClure 9,854 9.8%
Republican Edward Malin 7,879 7.9%
Republican Stephen Kaufman 2,413 2.4%
Republican Deborah Katz Pueschel 2,137 2.1%
Total votes 100,081 100

Personal life[edit]

Rutherford is married to his wife, Patricia, and has two children.[27][1] Rutherford is Catholic.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "2016 Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). CQ Magazine. 4 (32): 30. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  2. ^ Treen, Dana. "Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford saying farewell after 41 years of service". Jacksonville.com. Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  3. ^ Mitchell, Tia. "Veteran cop Rutherford has vision for Sheriff's Office - Jacksonville.com". jacksonville.com.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Tia. "Candidates accused of violating law - Jacksonville.com". Jacksonville.com.
  5. ^ "Former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford runs for U.S. Rep. Crenshaw's seat".
  6. ^ "Sheriff John Rutherford confirms he's running for Ron DeSantis seat - Florida Politics". floridapolitics.com.
  7. ^ "Florida Election Results 2016: House Live Map by District, Real-Time Voting Updates". Election Hub.
  8. ^ Press, Associated. "Florida congressman taken from Capitol on stretcher".
  9. ^ Cheney, Kyle; Bresnahan, John (January 11, 2017). "Fla. lawmaker taken from Capitol on stretcher". Politico. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  10. ^ Wong, Scott (January 11, 2017). "Congressman collapses in House cloakroom". The Hill. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  11. ^ Rahman, Rema (January 19, 2017). "John Rutherford Continues Recuperation". Roll Call. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  12. ^ "Congressman John Rutherford has been released from the hospital". WTLV First Coast News. January 22, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  13. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Rep. Rutherford: Constitutional Right to Bear Arms Should Not Stop at State Lines". U. S. Representative John Rutherford. US Federal Government. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  16. ^ Dean, Ed (9 October 2017). "Jacksonville Congressman John Rutherford vs. The National Rifle Association????". WBOB. CP Broadcasting. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  17. ^ Grinberg, Emanuella (21 February 2018). "These Florida lawmakers accepted money from the National Rifle Association". CNN. Atlanta. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  18. ^ Zanona, Melanie. "House passes school safety bill amid gun protests". The Hill. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  19. ^ a b c "Rutherford, Bruderly and Koniz bios and questionnaires". jacksonville.com. The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  20. ^ Wong, Scott. "Five things lawmakers want attached to the $1 trillion funding bill". The Hill. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  21. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  22. ^ Brown, Stephanie. "Northeast Florida lawmakers divided on impact of tax reform plan | Depend On WOKV - Jacksonville's News, Weather, and Traffic | www.wokv.com". WOKV Radio. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  23. ^ Times-Union, The. "DUVAL COUNTY SHERIFF: Rutherford is slow, on track - Jacksonville.com". www.jacksonville.com.
  24. ^ Treen, Dana: "John Rutherford wins re-election as Jacksonville sheriff" Florida Times-Union, March 22, 2011
  25. ^ "John Rutherford wins CD 4 primary - Florida Politics". floridapolitics.com.
  26. ^ "2016 Election Results: House Live Map by State, Real-Time Voting Updates". Election Hub.
  27. ^ Winkle, Amanda (13 January 2017). "U.S. Rep., former Jacksonville sheriff John Rutherford taken from U.S. Capitol on stretcher". WJAX. Retrieved 22 December 2017.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ander Crenshaw
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 4th congressional district

2017–present
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jacky Rosen
D-Nevada
United States Representatives by seniority
413th
Succeeded by
Lloyd Smucker
R-Pennsylvania