Opinion

From Cattle Ranch to Congress: Kat Cammack Will Lean on Rural Roots in Washington

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Posted: Dec 12, 2020 12:01 AM
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From Cattle Ranch to Congress: Kat Cammack Will Lean on Rural Roots in Washington

Source: Photo courtesy of Kat Cammack campaign

Representative-elect Kat Cammack (R-FL) is honored to represent 710,000 Floridians residing in the 3rd Congressional District.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, Cammack will be the youngest Republican woman entering the House of Representatives—joining a growing cadre of GOP women serving in the 117th Congress.

The freshman lawmaker spoke with me about her run for office, how she plans to shake up Washington, and why she’s eager to help shape policies affecting rural America.

What Motivated Her to Run for Office

Cammack’s family, whose livelihood depended on cattle ranching and commercial sandblasting, was displaced by the Obama-era Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) of 2009.

“I think back to the reason why I started this whole campaign, and really my involvement in politics to begin with. And it started, really, when we lost our small cattle ranch out West due to an Obama-era program,” Cammack said of HAMP, calling it a big government failure

“...Millions of homeowners across the country lost their homes under this program really through no fault of their own,” she noted. “And it has turned into one of the biggest scandals that no one talks about.”

By 2011, Kat and her family were homeless. 

She said her prospects were dim until a family friend connected her to an uncle: then-congressional candidate, now retiring Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL). After Yoho beat a 24-year incumbent, she came on as deputy chief-of-staff.

When Yoho announced his retirement, Kat saw an opportunity to run. In August, she bested 10 primary contenders to win the party’s nomination. On Election Day, she defeated her Democrat opponent by a whopping 16 points

Why? The self-described constitutional conservative put principles first. 

“My message has never been ‘vote for me because I'm a woman’ or ‘vote for me because I'm young’. It was ‘vote for me because I'm the best person for the job’. I have a plan that is going to really help the folks in the Third District,” she added.

On Challenging Big Government Policies

Cammack believes she and her Republican colleagues have a mandate to challenge big-government policies. Why? The American people overwhelmingly rejected this at the ballot box. 

 “Americans are sick and tired of [the] government telling them what to do,” Cammack emphasized. 

“I think capitalism has been really dismissed and really has been forgotten as truly the eradicator of poverty. When you look at historical data, the rise of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution really gave rise to lifting people out of poverty in a way that the globe had never seen before...We need to start talking about how capitalism can transform lives.”

“I think it's important that we start educating my generation and the one coming up right behind me, the Gen Z's, about the dangers of socialism,” she said. 

‘Conservatives Are Actually Great Conservationists’

When I asked Kat how the party can lead on conservation issues, she referenced her upbringing.

“I think growing up on a small cattle ranch you have an appreciation for the resources and being a good steward of the land,” Cammack noted. 

“And I don't think there's any greater steward of our natural resources than our farmers and ranchers. I cringe every time I see someone attack our agricultural community as saying ‘you're anti-environment’ or ‘you're polluting the environment’. That doesn't make any sense from an economic standpoint—from really any standpoint.” 

She added, “I would say that as someone who has been an avid angler—someone who has grown up in the agriculture community—it's important that we have an active voice, but also a young voice, that is standing up to this narrative that the Left are truly the champions of sound environmental policy.”

“We have to be that voice that's willing to stand up and say, ‘No, conservatives are actually great conservationists.’ And it's right in our name,” Cammack offered. 

“We are conservative; we don't spend money on products and fertilizers if we don't need to. We use the bare minimum amount to safely produce enough food to support our communities in our states, and ultimately, the nation, [and] the world. But when it comes to our natural resources, we are the best stewards of them.” 

“I am right now in the process of working very hard to get on the [House Agriculture] Committee and earning a seat there,” she told me. 

Cammack said having a spot on the committee will permit her to “be a champion and an advocate [for] rural America.” 

Conclusion

If Congresswoman-elect Kat Cammack isn’t on your radar yet, she will be. Her fresh conservative outlook will help her to stand out in Congress.

Townhall readers can learn more about Congresswoman-elect Cammack here and follow her on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter