Amanda Makki, a Republican candidate for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, is getting a prime Veterans Day endorsement from the widow of the man who held the seat for more than 40 years.
Beverly Young endorsed Makki’s campaign Wednesday, choosing her over fellow Republican Anna Paulina Luna, a veteran herself.
Young’s husband, C.W. Bill Young, served CD 13 from 1971 until he died in 2013. Beverly Young has been involved in races before, endorsing former U.S. Rep. David Jolly, who succeeded her husband. But she later soured on Jolly and announced plans to run against him in 2016, plans that never came to fruition.
The timing of Young’s endorsement is significant. Bill Young was known throughout the district as a staunch supporter of the veteran community. His name graces a number of buildings throughout Pinellas County, including the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Bay Pines.
Her name recognition in the district could boost Makki, who lost to Luna in the CD 13 Republican Primary last year. Luna went on to lose in the General Election to incumbent Democrat Charlie Crist.
“Amanda Makki is an advocate for veterans and Pinellas County residents, and she will restore this seat to the days of my husband, Congressman Bill Young, who spent his life advocating for this beautiful place we call home,” Young said. “After staying out of politics for the last eight years, I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore. Especially after I saw the terrible campaign Luna ran last year and lost this seat for Republicans when we picked up seats all across Florida. We need to win and Amanda Makki has the energy, dedication, and perseverance to take back CD 13.”
Republicans stand a good chance of flipping CD 13 this year. Crist is not seeking reelection, running for Governor instead.
“Beverly Young, like her late husband, is a fierce advocate for veterans and her words of wisdom and experience have helped shape my understanding of veterans’ needs in Pinellas County,” Makki said. “Beverly Young is a leader in Pinellas County who has dedicated herself to serving the people here and honoring the memory of the late Congressman Young. I am thrilled to have her support and I value her voice of experience.”
Makki is a former senior health adviser to Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who she served for seven years.
In the 2020 election, she was seen as a more moderate option on the GOP ballot to Luna, who garnered support from former President Donald Trump in the race. This year she has attempted to align herself more with Trump’s conservative base, characterizing President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “radical” and “socialists.”
She’s already scooping up endorsements from local elected officials in the race, including Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters, Madeira Beach Mayor John Hendricks, North Redington Beach Mayor Bill Queen, Redington Beach Mayor David Will, Belleair Shore Mayor Bob Schmidt, and Largo Mayor Woody Brown. Makki has also been endorsed by the 2018 Republican nominee for CD 13, George Buck, The Republican Main Street Partnership, and Maggie’s List Florida. Maggie’s List is the leading national organization focused on electing strong conservative women to Congress.
Makki is also a frequent commentator on conservative networks, including Fox News, Fox Business and Newsmax.
In addition to her experience on Capitol Hill, Makki also served in the Pentagon after the 9/11 attacks and as a lawyer during the Wisconsin recount for Trump.