Former Obama administration official Eric Lynn is adding three endorsements from Pinellas County elected officials in his run for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
Endorsers include St. Pete Beach Commissioner Christopher Graus, Redington Shores Commissioner Jennie Blackburn and Gulfport Commissioner Paul Ray.
“Eric Lynn’s deep ties to Pinellas County and his proven ability to get things done in Washington make him the clear choice for this race,” Graus said. “Through his work in Congress, as a Senior Advisor to President Obama, and to three Secretaries of Defense, Eric has demonstrated the leadership necessary to best represent our shared Pinellas values in Washington.”
Amid the finalization of the state’s new Congressional map, Lynn has made clear his plans to stay in the race for CD 13 despite the redrawn district’s GOP-lean. He’s also hoping the courts will step in and stop Gov. Ron DeSantis’ controversial congressional cartography.
“Eric Lynn is a leader, who is able to reach across the aisle and get things done while always fighting for our shared principles here in Pinellas,” Blackburn said in a statement. “Eric has proven that he is that candidate, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy.”
Lynn also has earned endorsements from former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Gulfport Deputy Mayor April Thanos, and U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell, Jimmy Panetta, and former Congress member Mel Levine.
“I am honored to have the endorsement of Chris Graus, Jennie Blackburn, and Paul Ray,” Lynn said in a statement. “In their respective roles, they have fought and delivered for their Pinellas communities, and I look forward to fighting for our shared Pinellas values in Washington. Our democracy, our institutions and more are on the ballot in 2022. We need commonsense leadership with a proven ability to deliver results in Washington. I am proud to be that candidate and grateful for their trust in my vision.”
Lynn faces state Reps. Ben Diamond and Michele Rayner in the CD 13 Democratic Primary.
Democrats have held the CD 13 seat since 2016 when U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist defeated incumbent Republican Rep. David Jolly. Crist this year is running for Governor instead of for re-election.
But a new map just signed into law by Desantis substantially reconfigures Tampa Bay. While CD 13 remains contained within Pinellas County, Downtown St. Petersburg and many Democratic portions of the old district end up in Florida’s 14th Congressional District, represented by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat.
The result for CD 13? The district goes from one where Democrat Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential Election by four percentage points to a seat Republican Donald Trump won by seven points.