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Amanda Makki is one of the GOP candidates backing term limits. Image via Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans


James Grant latest backer of Amanda Makki’s CD 13 campaign

Makki is running for the GOP nomination to take on Charlie Crist.

Rep. James Grant is endorsing Amanda Makki for Congress, Makki’s campaign announced Monday.

Makki is running for the Republican nomination in Florida’s 13th Congressional District to take on incumbent Democrat Charlie Crist.

“The hard-working people of Pinellas County cannot count on Charlie Crist. For nearly three decades he’s been a political wind sock, being blown whichever way the wind goes. Our families and this community need real leadership to emerge from this crisis and we simply cannot trust Charlie,” Grant said.

Makki also has GOP establishment momentum. She’s recently brought in endorsements from military veterans including Sen. Joni Ernst, the first female combat veteran ever elected to the U.S. Sen.

Other endorsing veterans include Congressmen Michael Waltz, Congressman Neal Dunn, and combat veteran Robert O’Neill of the elite Navy SEAL team 6, who shot Osama bin Laden.

Makki faces veteran Anna Paulina Luna, former attorney Sheila Griffin, political newcomer Sharon Barry Newby and George Buck, who unsuccessfully challenged Crist in 2018. Of those, only Buck and Luna have raised significant funds.

Makki has already raised more than $1 million, according to her campaign. Her closest competition, Luna, has raised $800,000.

None match Crist’s fundraising might as an incumbent. Crist has raised nearly $1.8 million, not counting his second quarter earnings covering April-June, which Makki and Luna have already announced.

“I am honored to have the support from Representative Grant and appreciate his efforts on behalf of Pinellas County in Tallahassee.  It will take committed Republican leaders at every level of government to bring conservative change to our community, so I look forward to working with him to represent Pinellas County and to put us back on the road to recovery after COVID-19,” Makki said.

Other endorsements include House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, Physician Congressman Michael Burgess, Seminole City Councilmember Thom Barnhorn, Belleair Beach Mayor Joseph Manzo and Treasurer Island Commission Tyler Payne.

Makki  was also named to the National Republican Campaign Committee’s Young Guns program as one of the top 27 “Contender” candidates. Conservative groups Republican Main Street Partnership PAC, Maverick PAC, FreedomWorks, View PAC, Maggie’s List, Rep. Elise Stefanik’s E-PAC, that helps female GOP candidates get elected, American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Associated Builders & Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter have all also endorsed Makki.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at

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