Former Gainesville City Commissioner Todd Chase announced on Tuesday that he will run for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., who is bowing out after serving eight years in Congress.

Last month, Chase, a businessman who served in the Navy where he rose to the rank of commander, filed the paperwork to launch an exploratory committee as he considered entering the crowded Republican primary. Chase officially entered the race on Tuesday.

A graduate of Jacksonville University with an MBA from Harvard, Chase flew P-3 Orions when he was based at NAS Jacksonville. Despite Gainesville traditionally being secure for Democrats, Chase served from 2011-2017 on its city commission.

“As a Navy pilot, I flew missions on the front lines of freedom. As a technology entrepreneur I saw how innovation creates jobs and hope powers confidence. As a local leader, I fought, oftentimes alone, to remind other leaders who they work for,” said Chase on Tuesday. ” I’m running for Congress to bring conservative values, backed by real-world experience, to Washington where politicians spend too much time attacking each other instead of attacking the challenges that stand between us and our future.”

Chase said he stood with President Donald Trump on a host of issues.

“Like the president, I believe America’s strength begins at home, with better-paying jobs, lower taxes, and a commitment to back our men and women in uniform — during and after their service — with everything we’ve got,” Chase said.

Current active candidates include longtime Yoho aide Kat Cammack, Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, former congressional aide Joe Millado, Clay County Commissioner Gavin Rollins, businessman Judson Sapp, physician James St. George and businesswoman Amy Pope Wells in the Republican primary. Businessman and writer Ryan Chamberlin also joined the crowded race on Tuesday.

Four Democrats–Adam Christensen, Phil Dodds, Richard Rowe and Tom Wells–are running in this solidly red district which stretches from Clay County to parts of Gainesville and Ocala.


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