Gus Bilirakis earns America PATRIOT Award for promoting ‘faith, family and freedom’

Gus Bilirakis
The group lauded Bilirakis for pushing back on 'radical policies.'

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis has received The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) American PATRIOT Award, a recognition honoring the North Pinellas County Republican for standing against Washington policies.

The award also recognizes Bilirakis for promoting what the organization describes as American values of faith, family and freedom.

AMAC CEO Rebecca Weber presented the award Monday and AMAC Action President Bob Carlstrom offered remarks, noting what he views as increasingly radical policies under the Democratic-led House.

“Congressman Gus Bilirakis has consistently defended the free enterprise system and the American values of faith, family, and freedom while pushing back against government overreach,” Carlstrom said. “As this administration doubles down on legislation that will dramatically expand that welfare state and hike taxes on the middle class, Congressman Gus Bilirakis continues to lock arms with AMAC and our 2.3 million members nationwide against these destructive ideas.”

The American PATRIOT award is the brainchild of AMAC’s late founder, Dan Weber. The group promotes alternative perspectives on how best to solve pressing problems facing older Americans and their families. The group has more than 2.3 million members nationwide, including 8,851 in Bilirakis’ Florida’s 12th Congressional District.

Bilirakis sad he was honored to receive the recognition.

“AMAC is an advocacy organization committed to protecting American values, freedoms, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law,” he added. “AMAC has proven itself to be a strong champion for American seniors and I will continue to stand alongside its members as we fight to protect and preserve our way of life for future generations.”

This isn’t Bilirakis’ first honor this month. Last week Bilirakis, who is seeking reelection against two possible Democratic challengers, earned the coveted endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

“Congressman Gus Bilirakis has been a tremendously effective lawmaker for the wonderful State of Florida. He is an incredible advocate for Energy Independence, Healthcare, and the American Worker,” Trump said in a statement endorsing Bilirakis. “He will always Protect and Defend our Second Amendment. Gus fights so hard for our brave Military and Veterans, and is very Strong on Border Security. Gus Bilirakishas (sic) my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Bilirakis is likely to face easy reelection. Neither Democrat filed in the race have raised significant funds. Kimberly Walker has raised less than $4,000 as of the end of September, according to Federal Election Commission data. Bill Vanhorn has raised less than $11,000. Meanwhile, Bilirakis has raised nearly $600,000 this year.

In 2020, he scored a resounding reelection victory with 63% of the vote over Walker.

While the AMAC’s PATRIOT award and Trump’s endorsement signal strong conservative bonafides, Bilirakis has consistently been recognized as a bipartisan champion in Congress.

Bilirakis ranked 32nd out of 437 in the Lugar Center Bipartisan Index last year. He sponsored 24 bills in the 116th Congress, most of which include Democratic co-sponsors. From 2015 to 2018, Bilirakis authored 27 bills signed into law, earning him a “Most Effective Lawmaker in the State of Florida” designation from the Center for Effective Lawmaking at Vanderbilt University.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

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 [email protected]


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