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Courtesy of James Zumwalt campaign.

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Republican James Zumwalt announces run in Florida’s 1st Congressional District

A combat veteran and a former adviser to Rep. Jeff Miller has announced he’s running for Congress.

James Zumwalt, a Niceville Republican, announced Thursday his intention  to run for the Congressional District 1 seat.

Zumwalt – a Navy veteran who fought in the Iraq War – was a military-oriented legislative aide for the retiring Miller in Washington, D.C., and says he will make military and veterans’ issues central to his platform in the Republican primary, which now includes state Rep. Matt Gaetz and will likely see the entrance of state Sen. Greg Evers.

Zumwalt was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician for the Navy’s bomb squad. He served two tours of duty in Iraq as an EOD Platoon Commander, and was awarded the Bronze Star. He is the fourth generation in his family to receive the Bronze Star.

“As a combat veteran of the United States Navy and a national security expert with service at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, I cannot stand by as our Constitution is eroded by career politicians more interested in personal gain than the future of our nation,” he said in a statement Thursday. “I did not fight for our freedoms in Iraq just to see them voted away back home. That is why I’m running to represent the people of Florida’s 1st Congressional District.”

Before becoming a military legislative adviser for Miller, Zumwalt was an analyst at the Pentagon.

“I have dedicated my life to defending freedom and the conservative constitutional foundation of the United States of America. To preserve the blessings of liberty for our children and grandchildren, this nation needs statesmen — not politicians,” said Zumwalt in a prepared statement. “Working on Capitol Hill, the next front line in defense of this Republic I hold so dear, I will be that statesman for Northwest Florida.”

Zumwalt appears to be running as a hard-line conservative. On his campaign page, he says he will treat immigration “as the national security issue it is,” and criticizes the administration of President Barack Obama as “horrendous and unconstitutional.”

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