Ed Montanari sets sights on House District 60

Montanari is challenging first-term Democratic Rep. Lindsay Cross.

St. Petersburg City Council member Ed Montanari is launching a campaign for House District 60.

Montanari, a Republican, was first elected to Council in 2015 and served as Chair in 2020 and 2021. He is the first challenger to file for the seat currently held by the first-term Democratic Rep. Lindsay Cross.

“As a fighter pilot, I’m trained to fire up my afterburners and go when a mission needs accomplishing,” said Montanari, a U.S. Air Force veteran, in a news release. “That’s why I’m running for Florida state House. Insurance rate hikes, a higher cost of living, and crime issues have made life harder for local families in recent years. It’s clear we need a leader in the Florida House with proven ability to complete the mission voters sent them to accomplish.”

He added, “From the Air Force to the St. Petersburg City Council, I never backed down from a challenge — and I won’t start now.”

The Council member released a video touting his credentials — he’s a former Air Force F-16 pilot who served as an Air Operations Officer in Central Command at MacDill AFB during the first Gulf War, and he later worked as a Boeing 777 pilot for American Airlines.

“Housing, crime, inflation and out-of-control insurance rates. We’ve all had a difficult year, and we need leadership. Last time I faced a mission this tough it was from the cockpit of an F-16,” he says in the ad, adding that he’s ready for his “next mission.”

“I’ll fight against big Insurance to lower rates across the board. I’ll fight to make our homes and apartments more affordable. And I’ll fight for our first responders who are on the front lines to protect and serve our families,” he says.

HD 60 covers part of Pinellas County and has a Democratic lean. In 2020, President Joe Biden carried the district with 55% of the vote. Two years later, Cross won the election over GOP nominee Audrey Henson by 8 points in what was otherwise a banner year for Florida Republicans.

The video is below:

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


  • PlusHeat

    October 17, 2023 at 6:02 am

    Ed Montanari’s decision to run for House District 60 demonstrates his commitment to addressing pressing issues in Florida, such as housing, crime, inflation, and insurance rates.

  • Jed Pylut

    October 17, 2023 at 7:43 am

    I hope Ed backs away from this military fighter jock stuff in a big hurry. F-16s aren’t that big a deal among the swing voters in NE St. Pete that he is going to have to appeal to. Let’s start by talking about good government and restraint in a city that is so out of control it is about to drop half a billion dollars into a sports project that almost nobody really cares about. Let’s talk about hiring people for top city jobs who are so tyrannically far left that nobody would work for them anymore and had to be fired. But this jet pilot stuff–nah.

  • Dave

    October 18, 2023 at 9:14 am

    Where is the connection of military experience and solving a serious inurance problem?…There is none…Statements without background to substantiate knowing what to do?….More political talking points with no substance…

  • Michael K

    October 18, 2023 at 11:37 am

    Lindsay Cross represents everyone in her district. She’s smart, inclusive, and far more knowledgeable about the environmental issues that face Floridians. She led a statewide nonprofit and has real-world management experience and legislative chops.

Comments are closed.


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