The Navy SEAL PAC is endorsing Amanda Makki in her bid for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
The committee works to elect conservatives to Congress, backing candidates that support the Constitution. The organization is chaired by U.S. Navy SEAL veteran Ryan Zinke, who served as Secretary of the Interior during the Donald Trump administration.
“Amanda’s experience, impeccable character, and proven good judgment are exactly what we need in Congress,” Zinke said in a statement. “Amanda’s dedication to our country in the weeks after 9-11 when she served in the U.S. Army General Counsel’s Office is a testament to her resolve to put her country first. We know she’ll bring the same level of dedication to the people of Pinellas County.”
Makki has previously earned endorsements from Maggie’s List, as well as amassing support from 12 Pinellas County mayors.
“I am honored to have the support of SEAL PAC in this race. I am grateful for their recognition of my lifelong conservative track record and commitment to public service,” Makki said in a statement. “I have never wavered in my commitment to fight for our veterans.”
Makki entered the race in mid-July, kicking off her campaign by diving head first into Trump territory and heightening her conservative rhetoric, as opposed to her previous approach as a more moderate conservative. This isn’t her first time in the ring. Two years ago, Makki lost the Republican Primary to Anna Paulina Luna, who she’ll face again in 2022.
Luna and Makki join Audrey Henson in the GOP Primary. Republican William Braddock dropped out of the race in June after recordings surfaced of him threatening Luna.
Three candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination, including state Reps. Ben Diamond and Michele Rayner–Goolsby and former Barack Obama administration national security adviser Eric Lynn.
Candidates hope to replace incumbent U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who is not seeking re-election, as he is running instead for Governor.
The CD 13 race is expected to be one of the most competitive in the state. It will likely be among the most expensive as donors nationwide contribute. Democrats hope to keep the seat blue, while Republicans have an eye on flipping a key swing district as the party battles to reclaim a majority in the U.S. House.
The district currently has a Democratic advantage. Heading into last year’s presidential election, Republicans — through a massive voter registration effort that will continue into the 2022 midterms — chipped away at the Democratic advantage in the Pinellas County district from 5.2 percentage points to just 4.6.
And with redistricting on the horizon, Republicans leading the process could narrow that even more by shifting district boundaries northward. However, they may be reluctant to get too creative with redistricting after the Florida Supreme Court foiled their last attempts to draw a map favorable to the GOP.