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Matt Gaetz releases latest TV ad

in Statewide by

Matt Gaetz released his latest ad, called “Veterans,” on Monday.

He’s aiming to win Florida’s conservative-leaning 1st Congressional District in the Panhandle, home to Hurlburt Field, Eglin AFB and the Pensacola Naval Air Station, home of the Blue Angels.

The district “is home to some of our nation’s most important military installations and thousands of brave men and women who serve and who have served in uniform,” Gaetz said in a statement.

The Republican state Representative from Fort Walton Beach, and Greg Evers, a GOP state Senator from Baker, are the leading contenders in a field of eight Republicans and one Democrat.

Gaetz’s ad features four veterans from the district:

— Col. Howard Hill, USAF, Retired. He is a former prisoner of war (POW) who was imprisoned and tortured at the Hanoi Hilton, the nickname for the prison North Vietnam used to hold U.S. prisoners during the Vietnam War.

— Col. Ron Webb, USAF, Retired. Another former POW who was imprisoned and tortured at the Hanoi Hilton.

— Msgt. Joe Deslauriers, USAF, Retired. He was seriously wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan.

— Capt. Nathan Nelson, USAF, Retired. He was seriously wounded by a rocket blast in Afghanistan.

“In Congress, I will fight every day to keep our military strong and care for our veterans, who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms,” Gaetz said.

The ad can be viewed here.

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

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