Redington Shores Mayor Marybeth Henderson has become the 12th Pinellas County Mayor to endorse Amanda Makki in the race for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
Henderson has served as Mayor for Redington Shores for the past eight years, claiming a resounding victory with 61% of the vote in her latest election in 2021.
“Active leadership is the definition of a community conservative and that’s what we have in Amanda Makki,” Henderson said in a statement. “Amanda will put Pinellas first and be a partner to Governor DeSantis in Washington to represent our traditional conservative values.”
Makki has now been endorsed by a dozen Pinellas County Mayors, more than any candidate in the congressional race. Most recently, she was endorsed by Oldsmar Mayor Dan Saracki, following the approval of the state’s new congressional map.
“I am a lifelong conservative who will never stop working for the people of Pinellas,” Makki said in a statement. “If you want someone who has proven themselves by earning the support of more Republican Mayors in Pinellas County than any other person in this race, then I’m your candidate and I’ll spend every day in Congress fighting for you.”
Makki has also been backed by SEAL PAC, former Pinellas Congressman Bill Young’s wife, Beverly, and Maggie’s List Florida in addition to her mayoral endorsements. Makki, a GOP strategist, faces a crowded Republican Primary against former prosecutor Kevin Hayslett, nonprofit founder Audrey Henson, Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna and Christine Quinn. Makki lost the Republican Primary to Luna in 2020.
However, the chances of a Republican flipping the seat are looking better under the new map. Democrats have held the CD 13 seat since 2016 when 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 Gov. Ron 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 4 percentage points to a seat Republican Donald Trump won by 7 points.