Belleair Mayor Mike Wilkinson is backing Amanda Makki in her bid for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
Wilkinson is the seventh Pinellas County-based Mayor to endorse Makki’s congressional run. Wilkinson took the role of Mayor in March, running unopposed. He previously served as a City Commissioner.
“Amanda Makki knows Pinellas County. She understands the issues that face our local communities. Amanda’s commitment to our veterans and to her work as a public servant is admirable,” Wilkinson said in a statement. “It’s important Amanda wins the race for Florida’s 13th Congressional District because she genuinely cares about the people of Pinellas County.”
Added Makki: “Mayor Wilkinson has done so much for the town of Belleair and I admire his wisdom, enthusiasm, and leadership. I am grateful to have Mayor Wilkinson’s support in this race.”
Makki has been also endorsed by Largo Mayor Woody Brown and Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters, as well as the widow of former CD 13 Congressman Bill Young, Beverly Young.
Makki faces former opponent Anna Paulina Luna and newcomer Audrey Henson in the Republican Primary so far. In the 2020 election, Makki 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.”
Makki is a former senior health adviser to Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who she served for seven years.
Makki 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.
But, Republicans stand a good chance of flipping CD 13 this year. Crist is not seeking re-election, running for Governor instead.
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.