With the Florida Legislature expected to finalize redistricting maps in the coming weeks, one of the most closely watched congressional races in the country is the contest to replace retiring Rep Stephanie Murphy (D).
In the Republican congressional primary for Rep. Murphy’s soon-to-be-vacated District 7 seat, Combat Veteran Cory Mills and former Democrat and firebrand State Rep. Anthony Sabatini appear to be the clear frontrunners in the growing field of candidates.
Both Rep. Sabatini and Mills have been able to raise a considerable amount of campaign cash and garner endorsements for their respective congressional candidacies.
Now, Mills has told The Floridian that he's received the endorsement of Trump-endorsed and Conservative freshman Rep. Beth Van Duyne, the thirteenth congressional endorsement for his campaign.
“Cory Mills is a true conservative and American patriot. When Joe Biden failed the American people and our allies around the world in Afghanistan, Cory immediately stepped up and saved American lives,” stated Rep. Van Duyne “True leadership means leading by example, and Cory Mills has exemplified that throughout his distinguished career serving our nation. I am proud to endorse him and give him my full support. “
Rep. Van Duyne’s statement that Mills “saved American lives” is in reference to a covert mission Mills and several other former “special operators” conducted the first overland rescue of Americans in Afghanistan when that country fell to the Taliban last fall.
U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan, Brian Mast, Greg Steube, Ronny Jackson, Brian Babin, MarkWayne Mullin, John Rutherford, Neal Dunn, Pete Sessions, Gus Bilirakis, Troy Nehls, Jim Banks, and now Van Duyne, have all lent their support for Mills, who Republicans are starting to refer to as the “consensus candidate” in the current race.
Mills may just be getting warmed up with his congressional endorsements. The Floridian has learned that no less than 6 more Republican members of the House, and possibly 3-5 sitting U.S, Senators are said to be on the verge of endorsing Mills' run for Congress.
In addition, ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp recently tweeted out what appears to be his endorsement of Mills’s candidacy, which could signal that the American Conservative Union (ACU) is on the verge of officially endorsing Mills.
“We can’t wait to get you in Congress,” stated Schlapp.
Don’t wait Cory. We can’t wait to get you in Congress https://t.co/Suv4eXWoFs
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) January 22, 2022
But Rep. Sabatini has also been able to find support within the halls of Congress, having landed the endorsements of. Sen. Rand Paul and Reps. Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, and Madison Cawthorn.
In addition, Freedomworks has also endorsed Sabatini.
Both men are also vying for President Donald Trump's endorsement.
Former Navy Seal Brady Duke, Erika Benfield, Jeremy Liggett, Joseph Cavagna, and Scott Sturgill, round out the field of Republican candidates in District 7.
Democrats have yet to field any candidates to replace Rep. Murphy, but State Reps. Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith, and former Lt. Gov. candidate Chris King, are all said to be considering running for the seat.