John Rutherford (Republican)


Democrat David Bruderly and Republican John Rutherford are vying for the 4th congressional district seat being vacated by the retiring U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw. The Recorder invited both candidates to submit a statement of up to 500 words outlining their background, qualification and top priorities if elected.

John Rutherford has lived in our community since 1958. John was educated at Florida Junior College and Florida State University. John heard the call to serve his community at an early age by beginning his law enforcement career as a patrolman at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in 1974.

Becoming Jacksonville’s sheriff in 2003, John managed nearly a half-billion dollar budget and oversaw over 3,200 employees. As sheriff, John tackled one of our area’s toughest problems: crime. Because of his leadership, in 2011 Jacksonville was at a 40-year low for violent crime.

John served as the chair of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, where he gained critical legislative experience, protected our constitutional rights, and made sure the legislature passed crime-reducing laws.

In addition to serving as Jacksonville’s “top cop,” John is a proud husband, devoted father of two, and grandfather of five.

Now, John is ready to take up a new challenge: to represent us and our interests in Washington.

Simply put, Washington is too big and does too little. But luckily for us, John is a results-oriented community leader with the right experience, the right message, and the right priorities to fight for us, solve our nation’s issues, and get results.

John is excited about the opportunity to influence national policy towards national security including immigration, national intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, mental health and related issues. In addition, he is eager to serve the constituents of Northeast Florida on veterans’ issues and citizen safety. Finally, it is important to maintain the balance between federal authority on the one hand and state and local authority on the other. John genuinely believes that the government closest to the people is the most effective and responsive to their needs.  

In the end, state and local government is much more accountable and visible to American citizens than the federal government has proven to be.