Connie Mack III

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
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 attorney and 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. 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.

Early life, education, and family

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.

His paternal grandfather was Connie Mack (1862–1956), (Cornelius McGillicuddy), 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).[2] 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.

U.S. House of Representatives


U.S. House elections

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 centered around Fort Myers. 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%.[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 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 Clinton) 71% to 29%. He won every county in the state.[7] 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 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 [8] Senator Mack led a historic bipartisan congressional effort to double funding for biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health and worked to secure the necessary appropriations. He also secured Medicare coverage for clinical trials, and was a leading Republican advocate of the Women's Health Initiative. He worked to strengthen and reform the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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. He has worked to reduce gov't debt. He co-authored and introduced into the House the landmark Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction law. 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. 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.[9]


Post-congressional career

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 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]

Representation in other media


  1. "mack".
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2004-03-07. Retrieved 2006-02-11.
  3. "Our Campaigns - FL District 13 - R Runoff Race - Oct 05, 1982".
  4. "Our Campaigns - FL District 13 Race - Nov 02, 1982".
  5. "Our Campaigns - FL US Senate- R Primary Race - Sep 06, 1988".
  6. "Our Campaigns - FL US Senate Race - Nov 08, 1988".
  7. "Our Campaigns - FL US Senate Race - Nov 08, 1994".
  8. (1991). Mack/Breaux bill will encourage cancer screening. Cancer Weekly. p. 13.
  9. Kyle Munzenrieder. "Connie Mack's Wife, Mary Bono Mack, May Have Lost Her Election Last Night Too". Miami New Times.
  10. "Former Florida Sen. Mack Quits Crist Campaign". Fox News.
  11. CASTLES IN THE SUN, The Cape Coral Story, documentary about the development of Cape Coral, Florida; written and produced by William Tremper
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
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