U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader for the Republican Party, is endorsinglawyer and former congressional health care policy adviser Amanda Makki for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
“I’m endorsing Amanda Makki for Florida’s 13th Congressional District which is a key seat in our effort to regain the House majority. She has the tenacity and work ethic to flip this district in November,” McCarthy said. “Amanda’s life is the story of the American dream, and her commitment to our conservative principles, passion to serve, and willingness to fight for what is right are exactly what the people of South Pinellas County are looking for in their next congressman.”
Makki immigrated to the U.S. as an infant with her family as they fled an oppressive Iranian government.
Makki an attorney and former George W. Bush appointee to the Pentagon’s General Councils office on anti-terrorism issues, was also a Senior Health Adviser to Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski who she served for seven years. She’s running in a crowded GOP primary in hopes of unseating incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist.
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Rep. McCarthy,” said Makki. “His leadership and commitment to fighting for President Trump’s conservative agenda has been unwavering and I am looking forward to doing my part once I am elected.”
Makki’s latest endorsement follows her recently released fourth-quarter fundraising report showing she continues to far outpace the rest of the Republican field.
Makki faces Anna Paulina Luna, George Buck, Matt Becker and Sheila Griffin in the Republican primary.
As of the end of 2019, Makki had raised more than $538,000. Buck follows her with $400,000, followed by Luna with $147,000. Becker has raised less than $80,000 and Griffin has banked just $25,000 for her campaign.
Crist, meanwhile, has raised more than $1.5 million.
Makki is so far the clear Republican front-runner. She’s collected other endorsements from U.S. Rep. John Rutherford and from the Republican Main Street Partnership PAC, a conservative group that aims to strengthen governance in the Republican Party.
Makki was named to the National Republican Campaign Committee’s Young Guns program as one of the top 43 “On the Radar” candidates. Other endorsements including U.S. Reps. Neal Dunn and Michael Burgess, the Maverick PAC, FreedomWorks, View PAC, Maggie’s List, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik’s E-PAC and the Associated Builders & Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.
Makki formerly served as a partner with K&L Gates, a nationally-ranked public policy firm. She also currently serves as Director of FDA Legislation and External Affairs for the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.
Prior to her private sector experience, she served as a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee during debate and passage of the Affordable Care Act. While serving in Murkowski’s office, she helped author health care legislation and amendments, and helped to set overall messaging and policy strategy.
Makki also worked for Nebraska Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry providing legal counsel on health care and education issues.