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Chris Hunter

Tampa Bay

Chris Hunter calls for return of ‘common decency’ in new ad

Democratic challenger Chris Hunter rolled out a new video Monday for his campaign against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis in Florida’s 12th Congressional District.

The ad, titled “For Granted,” covers Hunter’s career as an FBI agent and federal prosecutor before turning toward his reasons for running for the Tampa Bay area congressional district.

“There are things we take for granted in America. Before 9/11, we took our security for granted. Two weeks later, I decided to serve in the FBI. Under Robert Mueller, I worked counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence and defended our country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, not to serve a party or a president but to protect the country I love,” Hunter says in the ad.

“As a federal prosecutor, I helped lead a national strike force against healthcare fraud and put violent criminals and con artists behind bar. I’m Chris Hunter, and for too long we’ve taken our shared American values for granted, too. Things like common decency, honesty and respect for the rule of law.”

He closes the minute-long ad by saying he’s running for Congress to “defend those values and protect the America we love.”

Included in the press release announcing the ad was an attack on Bilirakis, who the campaign said was “enmeshed in controversy surrounding his support of the prescription opioid industry in a district hit hard by the opioid public health crisis.”

Hunter filed for CD 12 in January and, along with Stephen Perenich and Robert Tager, is one of three Democrats to qualify for the Democratic Primary ballot. Tager was the 2016 Democratic nominee for CD 12.

He led the primary field in fundraising with $242,000 raised and $195,000 on hand through the first quarter of the year. Both Perenich and Tager have raised less than $30,000.

If he makes it out of the three-way primary race, he and unaffiliated candidate Angelika Purkis will be on the Nov. 6 ballot alongside Bilirakis.

CD 12 covers all of Pasco County and parts of northern Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. The seat carries a heavy advantage for Republicans — it voted plus-19 for Donald Trump in the 2016 cycle and is currently listed as “safe Republican” by University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato‘s “Crystal Ball.”

The ad is below.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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