New CD 12 ad says Gus Bilirakis ‘is addressing the real issues’

Bilirakis TV ad

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis has released a new ad that highlights his efforts to help service members and veterans during his time representing Florida’s 12 Congressional District.

The ad, titled “Fighting for Warriors,” features a veteran, Bryan A., speaking about the lawmaker’s efforts and features clips of Bilirakis, a Tarpon Springs Republican, walking alongside Bryan and shaking hands with a number of military veterans, young and old.

“I served in the Army for 14 years. I was both a print photojournalist and then a Green Beret. Now I run a nonprofit called the Veterans Alternative,” Bryan A. says in the ad. “These alternative treatment options are saving warriors’ lives. I’m thankful that we have Gus. He is addressing the real issues that we’re facing.”

“What he consistently fights for is making sure that warriors receive the care, warriors receive the benefits that they deserve for serving our nation. The guy is always going to be there for his warriors. Gus is an amazing guy,” he concludes.

Highlighted during the video are the “Promise Act” and the “Cover Act.” The Promise Act would have required the U.S. Department of Defense to update their guidelines regarding opioid therapy for chronic pain, while the Cover Act would set up a commission to examine the benefits of incorporating complementary, alternative therapies for veterans’ healthcare.

Bilirakis was first elected to Congress in 2006 and has easily defended his seat in past elections. In 2018, he faces Chris Hunter, a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor who cruised in the three-way CD 12 Democratic primary with nearly two-thirds of the vote.

Hunter has thrown several barbs at Bilirakis, but the district is rated “safe Republican” by most political handicappers, including University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato‘s “Crystal Ball.” The district voted plus-19 for Donald Trump two years ago.

Additionally, Bilirakis held a substantial fundraising lead at the start of the general election season. Through Aug. 8, Bilirakis had raised more than $1.4 million for his re-election bid and had about $638,000 on hand compared to $465,000 in total fundraising and $254,000 banked for Hunter.

CD 12 covers all of Pasco and parts of northern Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Bilirakis’ ad is below.

Drew Wilson

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.

One comment

  • Judy Spangler

    September 18, 2018 at 9:31 am

    I live in Pasco County, in Hudson Fl, which is part lovely bedroom community with multi-million dollar homes on the water ( on one side of Hwy. 19) and part run down , poverty-stricken mobile home parks and some moderately priced small ranch homes on the other. There are multiple strip clubs on this part of Hwy 19 and prostitutes stroll freely up & down this strip picking up “dates”. Then there’s the massive homeless population who also live in the woods next to the Hudson Post Office so that you can’t enter or leave the Post Office without seeing panhandlers begging for cash. Many of the gas stations that have wooded areas also have many homeless folks living in the surrounding wooded areas and rarely can one enter or leave these businesses without having a vagrant ask for cash. I have asked Rep. Biliraikis for the last 3 years why this problem persists when Pasco County has been under Republican rule for at least 20 years…I’ve never gotten a response that addresses my question..he simply responds by pointing our what he had done for the VA…that’s it. Also…Biliraikis has rubberstamped everything Donald Trump wants to do, such as shutting down the Russia probe, the wall, banning Muslim- majority countries (travel ban), etc. He has never been a check on this President…just a blank rubber stamp for Trump’s worst impulses. I do give Biliraikis credit for his work with veterans, which I do appreciate as I have 2 service-connected disabled vets in my household…i just don’t see where he does much good anywhere else. Perhaps he would do better actually working at the VA rather than representing a large district where I haven’t seen him make any great strides.

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