ENG: Cornelius Harvey McGillicuddy IV (born August 12, 1967), popularly known as Connie Mack, is the former U.S. Representative for Florida's 14th congressional district, serving from 2005 to 2013. A member of the Republican Party, he was the Republican nominee for Senate in 2012, but lost to Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.
Early life, education, and family
Mack was born in Fort Myers, Florida, the son of cancer prevention advocate Ludie Priscilla (née Hobbs) and former U.S. Senator Connie Mack III. His father represented the district from 1983 to 1989 (when it was numbered as the 13th District), before serving two terms in the U.S. Senate.
Through his father, Mack is the great-grandson of Connie Mack, the manager and owner of baseball's Philadelphia Athletics and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame; the great-grandson of Morris Sheppard, U.S. Senator and Representative from Texas; and the great-great-grandson of John Levi Sheppard, a U.S. Representative from Texas.
In 1993, Mack earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida. After college Mack became a marketing executive, working as a consultant to promote the restaurant chain Hooters.
Florida House of Representatives
From 2000 to 2003, Mack served in the Florida House of Representatives. In 2000, incumbent Republican State Representative Debby Sanderson decided to retire to run for a seat in the Florida Senate. Connie Mack, then a business executive, decided to run for the open seat in the Fort Lauderdale based-91st House District.
Mack was Chairman of the Committee on State Administration, and in his second term he became the Deputy Majority Leader.
He defeated Democratic nominee Kevin Rader 56%-44%. In 2002, he won re-election with 79% of the vote.
U.S. House of Representatives - Elections
In 2003, incumbent Republican Congressman Porter Goss announced his intention to retire in order to serve as Director of the CIA. That October, Mack resigned from his seat in the State Legislature to run for the open seat. Had he not resigned his state house seat, he would have been unable to vote for himself in the primary or general election in the 14th District, as the Florida Constitution requires state legislators to be residents of the district they represent.
Mack consistently won re-election with high margins, with his closest bid in 2008, when he won 59% in a three-way election.
Mack sold his home in Fort Lauderdale and moved to Fort Myers where he grew up, and entered the Republican primary for Florida's 14th congressional district. Mack stated "The people of the 14th District deserve to be represented in Washington by someone who shares our mainstream conservative Republican values in the mold of my father and Congressman Porter Goss." He narrowly won a four-way primary with a plurality of 36% of the vote, defeating more experienced challengers State Representative Carole Green and Lee County Commissioner Andy Coy. He won the general election with 68% of the vote.
Mack is a vocal supporter of cutting federal spending and lower taxes. He is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Additionally, he is a co-sponsor of a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget and was one of the most outspoken opponents of federal bailouts.
Mack is an outspoken critic of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, and was one of the most vocal critics of the creation of the pan-Latin American TV network teleSUR. He is also a member of the Congressional Cuba Democracy Caucus. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Mack helped secure over $81 million to expand Interstate 75 in Southwest Florida, a project of significant concern to the region.
Unlike many members of Congress, Mack was been a vigorous and outspoken defender of the whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks. Mack said that although Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange "are no heroes," he believes there needs to be more transparency in government, and that he opposes any "attempt to suppress information from the general public."
Mack was also been a prominent advocate for greater congressional oversight of government activities related to surveillance. He voted against George W. Bush's domestic eavesdropping program in 2006 and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Reform in 2007.
2012 U.S. Senate election
Early in the election cycle, Mack was considered a potential candidate against incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in the 2012 Senate election. However, he declined to run on March 25, 2011, citing family and his work in the House of Representatives. On October 26, 2011, it was announced Mack had changed his mind regarding a challenge to Bill Nelson and that he would seek the Republican nomination. Mack's spokesman cited the fact that he felt no one in the current field was able to defeat Nelson. His opponent in the Primary was former Representative Dave Weldon, whom Mack defeated in the primary, winning 58% of the vote.
Mack is twice married. His wives have been:
- Ann Galluzzo, whom he married in 1996 and divorced in 2006. They have two children: Addison McGillicudy (born 3 March 2000) and Cornelius McGillicudy V (born 14 October 2002)
- Representative Mary Bono (R-CA), former wife of Glenn Baxley and widow of Sonny Bono. They married in 2007 in Asheville, North Carolina. By this marriage, he has two stepchildren, Chesare and Chianna Bono.
January 23, 2013