Katherine Harris
Aug 22, 2006

Related Coverage:

2006 Florida Elections

Katherine Harris (R)


Why do you want to be United States Senator for Florida?

2006 Primary Election
Special Report

About this report

Gubernatorial Candidates
Charlie Crist
Tom Gallagher
Rod Smith
Senatorial Candidates
Katherine Harris
Will McBride
LeRoy Collins
It’s our Christian duty to vote on Sept. 5

I’ve served in the State Senate, I’ve served statewide as Secretary of State and now I’m serving in Congress.

Every single office I’ve fulfilled every one of my promises that I made. I’ve been able to pass bills that they’ve said would take six years in the Congress and I’ve done it in six months. Like for housing for low income folks or making sure child predators stay in prison a lot longer. And if I could do that in the House, I can do so much more in the Senate with my experience.

The fact is that Bill Nelson has done nothing. And when you look at my accomplishments and my voting record, versus Bill Nelson’s, it is a clear indicator where Florida will want to go.

Floridians ... are not, the Democrats even, are not –the party of Ted Kennedy. And Bill Nelson has voted lock-step with Ted Kennedy.

In fact, according to the National Journal, a well-respected non-partisan publication, last year they rated Bill Nelson’s voting record to the left as more liberal than Hilary Clinton or Charles Schumer. Hilary was at 70, Schumer was at 71, Bill Nelson was 76.7. ... That’s how far to the left—and the newspapers in Florida are just so disingenuous about his being moderate. I’m the only one who’s voted to support marriage in this entire race, primary and general.

Why are you the best-qualified candidate?

I have the experience to hit the ground running in the United States Senate. I have the record of accomplishments that proves that I deliver my promises. I have the voting record that matches up head to head with Nelson and crushes him in Florida.

And I have proven that I will not kowtow to the media and all the pressure. I won’t kowtow to even the part of the elite in my own party when they want to do something that’s not right for Florida. And I think that I have a history that proves I’m not going to do what’s popular. I am going to do what’s right. The other candidates have no records and while they have certain stands there is no evidence that they are going to be able to stand as I have proven.

What is your personal religious faith?

I am Christian.

Are you involved in a local place of worship? If so, in what way?

Calvary Chapel in Sarasota is my base. I grew up as a Presbyterian, in the PCA (the USA is more liberal), and here I attend the Calvary Chapel. My heritage, my grandfather was a missionary in Africa and my aunt and uncle were missionaries in India and now they head up Arab World Missions. My brother-in-law is a Christian singer who has won number one song of the year, every year, his name is Wes King. So, I had a godly family. But I think what changed me the most was I had a chance to study under Dr. Francis Schaeffer. I studied under him at L’Abris. So, it’s a faith that is active and real and not just on paper. It’s the most important thing in my life.

Some day all of us have to give an account before God for what we have done. Are you certain in your own heart that when you come to that point of accounting that you’ll spend eternity with God in Heaven?

No question.

One day when you stand before God, if He says to you, “Why should I let you into my Heaven?” What you would say in response?

That’s an interesting question. Because I loved Your Son and because I know He died for my sins. I know He was resurrected at Your right hand and I served Him. You know we’re covered with, our sins are covered with His blood and so we are blameless before Him. We are as white as snow.

How does your faith impact the way you view your responsibilities as a public official?

They animate. Clearly, I wish I could tell you I never made a mistake in my walk every day, but in terms of my votes, my faith and my actions have to animate everything I do. I sponsored and passed the parental consent bill in the Florida Senate. The first time it has ever passed the Florida Senate. I have a 100 percent voting record with the Christian Coalition. I have a 100 percent voting record with the traditional values groups. Bill Nelson will have a 0-20 percent. Bill voted against the partial-birth abortion ban. He voted against the marriage between a man and a woman, not once, but twice. He voted against the Lacey and Connor act which would say that if you murder a pregnant woman…it’s a double murder. He voted against parental consent and he voted against Judge Alito, which is really remarkable. A representative of Florida.

What role do you think people of faith should play in politics and government?

The Bible says we are to be salt and light. And salt and light means not just in the church and not just as a teacher or as a pastor or a banker or a lawyer, but in government and we have to have elected officials in government and we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers. And if we are the ones not actively involved in electing those godly men and women and if people aren’t involved in helping godly men in getting elected than we’re going to have a nation of secular laws. That’s not what our founding fathers intended and that’s certainly isn’t what God intended. So it’s really important that members of the church know people’s stands. It’s really important that they get involved in campaigns. I said I’m going to run a campaign of integrity. I’m not going to run it like all of the campaigns that I’ve seen before…. And you know, it’s hard to find people that are gonna behave that way in a campaign and be honorable that way in a campaign. But that’s why we need the faithful and we need to take back this country. It’s time that the churches get involved. Pastors, from the pulpit, can invite people to speak, not on politics, but of their faith. But they can discern, they can ask those people running for election, in the pulpit, what is your position on gay marriage? What is your position on abortion? That is totally permissible in 5013C organizations. They simply cannot endorse from the pulpit. And that’s why I’ve gone to churches and I’ve spoken in four churches, five churches a day on Sunday and people line up afterwards because it’s so important that they know. And if we don’t get involved as Christians then how could we possibly take this back?

Do you support civil rights protections on the basis of sexual preference?

Civil rights have to do with individual rights and I don’t think they apply to the gay issues. I have not supported gay marriage and I do not support any civil rights actions with regard to homosexuality.

Do you support a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as being only between one man and one woman? Why or why not?

I fully support a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as being only between one man and one woman. I have voted in support of the Marriage Protection Amendment because we should not undermine the uniqueness of an institution that continues to serve as an essential thread in the fabric of our society.

Do you support the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment?

Absolutely. I have signed on the amendment, I have promoted the amendment. I have stood with them and done press conferences for that amendment and no other candidate has in the primary or the general. They may have signed it but obviously not done press conferences and such.

Setting aside for the moment the public policy questions related to abortion, is abortion a moral evil? Why or why not?

Yes. Because it’s a life, it’s a life. Life begins at conception.

What public policy limits on abortion have you supported or will you support in order to decrease the number of abortions in our nation?

First and foremost, one of the most important things we can do is encourage abstinence in the schools. That’s really important. The Promise Keepers and some of the things that they’ve been able to do with dads and their daughters, it’s really important. We need to do more, so much more, with adoption and counseling so that women really know what is at stake and the opportunities that exist and have such opportunity for adoption. Because many of the couples throughout the country, they go abroad because that just isn’t available and abortion is so readily available. Clearly I would only, from a public policy standpoint, I would limit abortion to rape and life of the mother and incest, but for my personal standpoint, I would not have an abortion for any of those cases.

What is your view of Gov. Bush’s efforts on behalf of Terri Schiavo?

Well, we voted in the United States House of Representatives to preserve her life. I voted to support her life. I supported (Bush’s) efforts. I took a more pro-active stance than any primary or general election candidate because I actually voted to support her life.

Is there something wrong with Florida and federal statutes when a severely brain-damaged woman who’s not in the process of dying can be starved and dehydrated to death by her husband with the assistance of the courts?

It’s unconscionable. Having a feeding tube and being hydrated are not life-sustaining. If that were the case then you’d have to take a look at prisoners. I mean, we provide them food and hydration. It is unconscionable. That is normal living. That is what we require to live and to allow that kind of death was truly devastating.

Should food and water be defined as extraordinary care, thus permitting such care to be denied to persons like Terri Schiavo?

It’s not extraordinary care or we should take a look at our own life.

What is your view on state funding of embryonic stem cell research?

I am adamantly opposed to embryonic stem cell research and voted as such. I’m the only candidate in the primary or general who’s voted against embryonic stem cell research and has voted for cord blood research and adult stem cell research. We’ve had enormous successes with nasal cells, other things in terms of adult stem cell research as well as cord blood. There are no successes for embryonic. That is why the private sector is not involved and there is no justification for taking a live embryo and destroying it.

Why should Florida Baptists care about this primary election?

They should care about this election period. I will tell you that everywhere I go throughout the state and even the nation, people say the pollsters, the politicians and spiritually—that Florida is the forerunner state. That what happens in Florida sets the trend for what happens nationally. And with this election, if Bill Nelson wins, it’s going to be a very frightening proposition in 2008 in the presidential elections because whoever wins Florida will win the presidency. And he’ll be in a position to largely influence. No other candidate can beat Bill Nelson except for me. No one even has a chance because of name identification and fund raising abilities and things like that. But the real issue is why should Baptists care, why should people care? If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin. They can say that abortion is alright. They can vote to sustain gay marriage. And that will take western civilization, indeed other nations because people look to our country as one nation as under God and whenever we legislate sin and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don’t know better, we are leading them astray and it’s wrong. ...

Related Coverage:

2006 Florida Elections

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