Outgoing state Rep. Jayer Williamson is endorsing Dr. Joel Rudman to succeed him in House District 3.
“I believe Dr. Rudman is the right Republican to represent us in the state Capitol,” Williamson said. “He already has a record of standing up for freedom and we can trust him to stand with Gov. DeSantis to keep Florida free and open for business.”
“It’s simple, I am behind Doc Rudman because he has lived and worked here in Northwest Florida for a long time, we know him and trust him,” Williamson added.
Rudman entered the race after Williamson announced in January that he was not seeking re-election.
“Rep. Williamson is well-respected and accomplished a lot in a short period of time for us,” Rudman said. “I have big shoes to fill, but I know I will be able to rely on his guidance.”
The Navarre family doctor has been vocal about his stance against mask mandates in Florida schools. This past Legislative Session, Rudman testified before lawmakers on behalf of the Florida Physician Freedom of Speech bill.
The Rudman campaign raised more than $37,000 in July and an affiliated political committee, the Committee to Protect Florida, raised $50,750. Going into the last few weeks, his campaign account has $93,224 and his affiliated political committee holds $128,194.
He received $1,000 contributions from the Committee for Florida Justice Reform and the Doctors Company Florida PAC in July.
Rudman has also been endorsed by the area’s former Republican Congressman, Jeff Miller, as well as the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Realtors and Florida Medical Association.
His opponent, former legislative aide Mariya Calkins, has been endorsed by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, state Reps. Tommy Gregory and Anthony Sabatini, Santa Rosa County Commission Chair Bob Cole and Milton City Councilwomen Shannon Rice and Shari Sebastiao.
In July, Calkins raised just over $5,000. Her political committee, Friends of Mariya Calkins, raised $6,000. Her campaign account retains $32,659 and the political committee has $38,826.
HD 3 covers parts of Santa Rosa County and northern Okaloosa County.