FMA PAC announces four Florida House endorsements

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Florida’s foremost pro-medical alliance, representing more than 20,000 practicing physicians statewide, is endorsing three Republican incumbents for re-election and another in his bid to reclaim his House seat.

Florida Medical Association PAC (FMA PAC) announced on Monday its support former state Rep. Shawn Harrison in his bid to return to House District 63, and re-election bids of State Reps. Mike Hill for House District 2, Neil Combee for House District 39 and Frank Artiles for House District 118.

Harrison faces incumbent Democratic state Rep. Mark Danish in the district covering parts of Hillsborough County. First elected to the House in 2010, Harrison served a single term, losing to Danish in 2012.

“It is so important we continue to offer a world-class health care system for Floridians,” said FMA PAC President Ralph Nobo. “And we look forward to working with Shawn Harrison toward making this goal a reality.”

“Protection of Floridians must remain a priority of our State, and it is imperative that a quality healthcare system is available to everyone in need,” Harrison responded.

Hill, a State Farm Insurance agent and president of the Northwest Florida Tea Party from 2010-2013, faces Democrat Jeremy Lau in the district that covers parts of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

“As a member of the House Health Innovation Subcommittee, Hill understands many of the obstacles physicians in Florida face, as well as the solutions we are developing to make the Sunshine State a model for quality healthcare throughout the nation,” Nobo said.

“I’m proud to have the support of the FMA and Florida’s doctors,” said Hill. “I have enjoyed working hand in hand with them to ensure we have a first-rate medical system in our state that leads to successful outcomes for patients, lowers costs and increases the availability of care.”

Combee, a four-term former Polk County Commissioner, faces Democrat Carol Castagnero in the district parts of Osceola and Polk Counties.

“State Representative Neil Combee is a friend of medicine,” Nobo said. “His support of our efforts as a freshman member of the Florida House is why we have endorsed his candidacy for a second term.”

“As a member of the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, I know firsthand the importance of funding medical research projects,” said Combee. “I am proud to have the support of FMA physicians who are working toward these lifesaving procedures each and every day.”

Artiles, a state-licensed general contractor, real estate agent and public adjuster, faces Democrat Omar Rivero in the district covering parts of Miami-Dade County.

“The Florida Medical Association is pleased to endorse Rep. Frank Artiles,” Nobo said. “His public service began in the U.S. Marine Corps, and now he continues to serve the public and the residents of Florida in the State House of Representatives. We look forward to working with him as we strive to make Florida the best state in the nation for affordable, quality healthcare.”

“I would like to thank the FMA for their endorsement,” said Artiles. “It is an honor to be supported by physicians and the Florida Medical Association.”

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.