John Rutherford (sheriff)

John Rutherford
Member-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 4th district
Taking office
January 3, 2017
Succeeding Ander Crenshaw
Sheriff of Jacksonville
In office
Preceded by Nat Glover
Succeeded by Mike Williams
Personal details
Born (1952-09-02) September 2, 1952
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Patricia
Children 2
Residence Jacksonville, Florida
Alma mater Florida State University
FBI Academy National Executive Institute
Occupation law enforcement officer
Religion Catholic

John Henry Rutherford (born September 2, 1952) is a career law enforcement officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. He has served as Duval County Sheriff since his election to the office in 2003; his term expired in 2015.

Early Life and Education

Rutherford was born in 1952 and has lived in Jacksonville since 1958. He earned an associate's degree in police administration from Florida Junior College, then received a bachelor's degree in criminology at Florida State University. Later, he attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and graduated in session 171. He is also a graduate of the National Executive Institute.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

Officer Rutherford started out as a patrolman in 1974 and rose to the rank of Captain. He has commanded a number of divisions, including Arson, Burglary, the Police Academy and Patrol on the Southside. He also served as Chief of Services, Traffic and Special Operations, and Chief of Patrol.[1] As Chief of Services, Chief of Traffic/Special Operations and Chief of Patrol, where he commanded over 700 uniformed officers.[2]

In 1995, Rutherford was appointed as Director of Corrections under then-Sheriff Nat Glover and held that title for 8 years.

Rutherford ran for Sheriff in 2003 and won election. In 2006 Sheriff Rutherford started the HITZ Program to stop transient nuisance crimes and help transient substance abusing persons into treatment rather than prison.[3] Rutherford instituted programs in which officers walked the beat downtown,[4] Operation Safe Streets, Gun Bounty Rewards and a Public Awareness Campaign with Billboard, Radio and TV commercials.[5] Initiatives also include; Intelligence Lead Policing, Community Problem Solving and Continuous Improvement through LEAN concepts. By 2011 the City of Jacksonville was enjoying a forty year low in crime.

In February, 2003, a campaign violation complaint was filed by a City Council candidate alleging violations of the Federal Hatch Act of 1939, which prohibits employees working for federally funded agencies from running for office in partisan elections. Rutherford consulted a lawyer, and was told there was no conflict, but retired anyway, in order to remove any doubt, with 28 years of service.[6]

2016 Congressional Campaign

Rutherford announced his candidacy for Florida's 4th congressional district on April 15, 2016.[7] Originally he announced he would run for Florida's 6th congressional district in 2015.[8] On August 30th, 2016, he won the Republican primary with 38.7% of the vote, beating Lake Ray, Hans Tanzler III and Bill McClure.[9] He will be facing David Bruderly in the general election.


Rutherford campaigned for Duval County sheriff, running against fellow Republicans David Anderson and Lem Sharp. In the election on April 15, 2003, Rutherford won 135,038 votes, 78 percent of the total. He took office on July 1, 2003. Rutherford was re-elected in 2007[10] and 2011.[11]

On August 30th, 2016, he won the Republican Primary for Florida's 4th Congressional District.[12]

2016 Florida 4th Congressional District Republican Primary Results[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Rutherford 38.688 38.7%
Republican Lake Ray 20,111 20.1%
Republican Hans Tanzler III 18,999 19.0%
Republican Bill McClure 9,854 9.8%
Republican Edward Malin 7,879 7.9%
Republican Stephen Kaufman 2,413 2.4%
Republican Deborah Katz Pueschel 2,137 2.1%
Total votes 100,081 100


Rutherford is married to his wife, Patricia. They have two children (Alicia and Michael) and five grand children, Michela, Hannah, Maria Vittoria, Kiera and John-Carlo. In an interview prior to his first election in 2003, he was asked what voters would be surprised to know about John Rutherford. His reply: "I'm still a surfer."


External links

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