- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A Florida Republican is spearheading a political action committee to send more blue-collar Americans to Congress — not just the lawyers and Ivy Leaguers who currently dominate on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Kat Cammack’s GRIT PAC is backing seven House GOP candidates who she says reflect the diversity of the country in skills and professional backgrounds.

“These candidates represent the very best of the growing red wave that will take back the House of Representatives in November,” Ms. Cammack said in a statement. “The American GRIT PAC works to identify candidates who reflect the everyday fabric of our nation — moms and dads, veterans, small business owners, farmers, first responders and beyond.”

Ms. Cammack often touts her blue-collar upbringing as the inspiration for her to get others with diverse backgrounds elected to Congress. She grew up on a cattle ranch in Colorado and spent a brief period of her childhood homeless, and later went on to become a political staffer for former Rep. Ted Yoho, Florida Republican. 

At 34, she is the youngest Republican woman elected to the House.

The dominant professions of lawmakers before entering office were in public service, business or law, according to the Congressional Research Center. At least 175 members of the current Congress have law degrees, the American Bar Association reports.

These are the candidates Ms. Cammack endorsed:

• Mayra Flores for Texas’ 34th District: Ms. Flores is running in an open seat to replace former Rep. Filemon Vela, who resigned this year. Growing up, the candidate helped her migrant parents work in Texas cotton fields, and later graduated as a respiratory care practitioner who works with patients who are older, disabled and have chronic respiratory issues. Ms. Flores also serves as the Hidalgo County GOP Hispanic Outreach Chair.

• Jennifer-Ruth Green for Indiana’s 1st District: Ms. Green is running for the seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Frank Mrvan. Ms. Green has had a long Air Force career, currently serving in the Air Reserve Component. She served in the Iraq War as a mission commander for counterintelligence and serves now as the chief information officer for the 122nd Communications Flight. She is the first Black woman to hold that position.

• Monica De La Cruz for Texas’ 15th District: Ms. De La Cruz is running for the South Texas seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. She grew up in a single-parent household in the Rio Grande Valley and later began her own insurance agency. Through her business, Ms. De La Cruz became the first female agent in the area to earn the President’s Club award, given to the top 50 agents in the country.

• Morgan Luttrell for Texas’ 8th District: Mr. Luttrell is running to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Kevin Brady in a district that includes the Woodlands and parts of Houston. Mr. Luttrell is a former Navy SEAL and survived a deadly helicopter crash in 2009. The candidate was left with a traumatic brain injury, which inspired him to help veterans recover from the same injuries, as well as PTSD through a health and wellness initiative he launched.

• Zach Nunn for Iowa’s 3rd District: Mr. Nunn is running for the seat now held by Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne in a district that includes most of Des Moines. Mr. Nunn is a state senator and former combat aviator for the U.S. Air Force.

• Catalina Lauf for Illinois’ 11th District: Ms. Lauf is running to replace Democratic Rep. Bill Foster in a suburban Chicago district. Ms. Lauf is a former adviser in the U.S. Commerce Department under President Trump.

• Lisa Scheller for Pennsylvania’s 7th District: Ms. Scheller is running to oust Democratic Rep. Susan Wild in an Allentown district. Ms. Scheller is the chairwoman and president of Silberline Manufacturing Co., a family business that makes ingredients for paints and coatings. It is the only certified women-owned business of its kind in the world. Ms. Scheller also served on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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