FMA PAC endorses three Republican House incumbents

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Now that the general election season is well underway, the political arm of the Florida Medical Association on Thursday issued a series of Florida House endorsements.

FMA PAC, which represents more than 20,000 practicing physicians statewide, is supporting the re-election efforts of three Republican incumbents: incoming House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, state Reps. Travis Cummings and Ray Pilon.

First elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2008, Crisafulli won unanimously the speakership for the 2014-2016 term. He faces Democrat Joe Murphy in the House district 51, which covers part of Brevard County, including Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.

“We are proud to endorse State Rep. Steve Crisafulli for House District 51,” said FMA PAC President Ralph Nobo. “He shares our goal of an affordable, quality health care system that protects patients and safeguards our physicians’ ability to practice the highest standards of medicine in Florida.”

“I believe it is critically important to ensure Florida is the best state in the nation for doctors to practice medicine so that families have access to quality, affordable health care and doctors can treat patients without the fear of government overregulation or frivolous lawsuits,” he responded.

Cummings is the House Majority Deputy Whip running for re-election in District 18, which covers much of northern Clay County. He faces Libertarian Party candidate Ken Willey.

“The association has developed a positive relationship with him during his first two years in the House, as he has served on a number of health care-related committees,” Nobo said. “We will continue to work with him to ensure the highest standards of medical practice.”

“As a member of the Health and Human Services Committee,” Cummings responded. “I understand the importance of an affordable, quality health care system for all Floridians, and I look forward to working with the FMA.”

Pilon is a former Sarasota County Commissioner who now is vice chair of the House Criminal Justice and Local & Federal Affairs Committees, as well as several other committee assignments. He faces Democrat Greg Para in House District 72, which covers much of Sarasota County.

“We are proud to endorse State Rep. Ray Pilon for House District 72,” said Nobo. “We recognize that he will be a strong advocate for the FMA … as we continue to push for legislative and regulatory reforms to improve the delivery of health care in Florida.”

“It is humbling to be recognized by such a distinguished association that represents the medical and osteopathic physicians in our state,” Pilon said. “Through their efforts, our doctors are provided with education and advocacy with a mission to provide the best and most professional health care to their patients.”

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.