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Jimmie Smith endorses Mary Thomas in CD-2 race

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First-time candidate Mary Thomas, running for North Florida’s 2nd Congressional District, on Friday picked up the endorsement of state Rep. Jimmie T. Smith.

“Mary Thomas is the only true conservative in the race,” said Smith, who chairs the Veteran & Military Affairs Subcommittee. “She has experience working for Gov. Rick Scott and experience working to support our military service members, our veterans and our senior citizens.”

Smith, an Inverness Republican, served 20 years in the U.S. Army, including Operation Desert Storm.

“Like me, Mary is not part of the political establishment,” Smith added. “She’s not a political insider or a lobbyist. She is a mom, a Christian, and a first-generation American. Basically, she is the example of the American dream, coming from humble beginnings and working to build a better future.

“I know Mary will work hard for us and will represent the people of her district with distinction and with a conservative backbone that will not bend. We both represent a fresh, new generation of conservatives who will work tirelessly to change the way Washington works, for the people, not for the political insiders.”

Thomas is running for the seat now held by first-term Democrat Gwen Graham. If elected, Thomas would be the first Indian-American woman to serve in Congress.

She is a Tallahassee lawyer who worked in Scott’s administration and is now general counsel for the Department of Elder Affairs, according to her online bio.

Panama City urologist Neal Dunn is opposing her in the Republican primary.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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