Belleair Beach Mayor Dave Gattis has become the 13th Pinellas County Mayor to endorse Amanda Makki in the race for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
Gattis was elected Mayor in March, defeating incumbent Joseph Manzo by collecting a whopping 77% of the vote. He previously served on the Belleair Beach City Council and as Vice Mayor.
“Amanda Makki is the real deal. She took the time to meet with me one-on-one and was not afraid to answer the tough questions,” Gattis said in a statement. “She is a genuine conservative with the experience and motivation needed to make a positive difference in Washington D.C., Florida, and Pinellas County. As a fellow conservative, I am proud to endorse Amanda Makki.”
Makki has now been endorsed by 13 Pinellas County Mayors, more than any candidate in the congressional race. Most recently, she was endorsed by Oldsmar Mayor Dan Saracki and Redington Shores Mayor Marybeth Henderson following the approval of the state’s new congressional map.
“I’m grateful for Mayor Gattis’ support in this race,” Makki said in a statement. “He recognizes the value of a Community Conservative who can deliver for the people of Pinellas and has the experience needed to go to Congress and fight for us on Day 1.”
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.