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Republican Surgeon Enters Congressional Race

Neal Dunn
U.S. House of Representatives

Republican Neal Dunn is making it a three-way race for the Congressional seat currently held by Democrat Gwen Graham. Dunn, a physician and banker, came to Tallahassee Monday after first announcing in his hometown.  

Dunn was an Army surgeon before he opened his urology practice in Panama City 25 years ago. A general’s son, Dunn calls himself an unapologetic conservative and claims national security as a top issue.

“I promise you this, I will never support sending troops to fight unless I think it is absolutely necessary.”

Dunn is no stranger to politics. He is an appointed member of Enterprise Florida and Space Florida and chaired the Florida Medical Association’s Council on Legislation. He personally donated nearly 60 thousand dollars to campaigns over the last 20 years, and is taking heat for making a few contributions to Democrats.

Dunn’s entry into the race forces a primary with Republican newcomer Mary Thomas. Thomas is general counsel for Governor Rick Scott’s Department of Elder Affairs and the wife of a political consultant. If elected, she would be the first Indian-American woman in Congress.

“I’m a first-generation American, I’m a woman and I’m a wife and I’m a mother. And I have a lot of experience in the issues that will directly impact this district.”

Dunn says he decided to run before the Florida Supreme Court ruled last month that lawmakers would have re draw the state’s political boundaries. Graham, a first termer, faces an uphill battle in a district that is expected to lean further right.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.