The Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition is backing Niceville Republican Jonathan Tallman in the race to succeed exiting Rep. Mel Ponder in House District 4.
“Jonathan Tallman will fight for Northwest Florida in the House, and most importantly, he won’t forget the voters who sent him there,” said Mark Phillips, the group’s statewide field director.
“As a man who cares deeply for his neighbors as well as his own family, Jonathan Tallman is exactly the leader we need to continue Representative Mel Ponder’s great work in standing up for our values in the Florida House. His passion for empowering families and supporting our veterans and active duty military, will benefit the entire state. We’re excited for him to join his fellow conservatives in the Florida House.”
The Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition is a faith-based get-out-the-vote organization. Tallman’s commitment to issues relevant to faith-based voters earned him the nod, according to a press release.
The coalition plans to spend $50 million helping President Donald Trump and down ballot candidates this cycle, with much of the money supporting door knocking, church and precinct organization, direct mail, and digital advertising in the Sunshine State.
“I am honored to have received this endorsement from the Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition,” Tallman said. “Florida is entering uncharted territory, but we know how to recover from disasters as well as any state in the nation — maybe better.
“I have full confidence and faith that we’ll come back stronger than ever from this dire public health and economic situation. The Faith and Freedom Coalition endorsement recognizes my commitment to get our state back on its feet and protect our most vulnerable citizens, both now and in the future.”
The endorsement follows Tallman’s call for Gov. Ron DeSantis to suspend tolls on all roads in the state in order to help ease financial burdens for Floridians struggling with the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
He said lifting tolls would “provide a major economic benefit for our working families and for those who are struggling financially during this difficult time and will stimulate the local economy.”
Tallman, a financial advisor and owner of The Tallman Group, is a Niceville native. He attended Niceville High School where his mother was a long-time science teacher.
He is also an alumus of Collegiate High School at the Northwest Florida State College, where he earned an associate degree. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Flagler College in St. Augustine.
Tallman has been recognized by Emerald Coast Magazine as one of the “Top 12 People You Should Know” and appeared on 850 Magazine’s “40 under 40” list.
He has also been named a “Top Rising Star for 2015” by National Underwriter Magazine and been awarded the Starfish Business Award from the Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.
Tallman faces Jeff Hinkle, Patt Maney and Sandra Atkinson in the Republican primary for the seat.
Thus far, Hinkle leads the money race thanks to a $500,000 candidate loan.
The Okaloosa Republican Party has about $7,000 in the bank, with $4,000 of that on reserve as prepaid funds for an event and not to be spent; it was for an event canceled due to COVID-19.
Maney has raised $122,185 and has about $96,000 in the bank; Tallman has raised $53,905 and has about $41,000 on hand; and Atkinson trails with around $11,000 raised and $2,000 banked.
Tallman and Hinkle have each qualified for the ballot by petition.
No Democrat has filed for the seat, though if one does, HD 4’s strong GOP lean ensures the Republican nominee will succeed Ponder in November.