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A sixth Republican has entered the race to replace 8-term Congressman Jeff Miller. James Zumwalt, an veteran of the Iraq War and a former military advisor to Miller, announced earlier today that he had filed paperwork to run for the seat.

Miller, who has served in Congress since 2001, announced last month that he would not seek re-election. Zumwalt joins an increasingly crowded Republican field that includes State Rep. Matt Gaetz, Cris Dosev, Brian Frazier, John Mills, and Mark Wichern. State Sen. Greg Evers has also said that he’s considering entering the race.

“As a combat veteran of the United States Navy and a national security expert with service at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, I cannot stand by as our Constitution is eroded by career politicians more interested in personal gain than the future of our nation,” said Zumwalt in a release. “I did not fight for our freedoms in Iraq just to see them voted away back home. That is why I’m running to represent the people of Florida’s First Congressional District.”

Zumwalt with Congressman Jeff Miller in 2014. (Jeff Miller/Special to the Pulse)

Zumwalt with Congressman Jeff Miller in 2014. (Jeff Miller/Special to the Pulse)

After graduating from Tulane University, Zumwalt joined the Navy’s elite bomb squad as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician. During his two tours in Iraq as an EOD platoon commander, Zumwalt and his team rendered safe thousands of pounds of improvised explosive devices and enemy ordnance, and brought to justice 46 al Qaeda members. Zumwalt was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, becoming the fourth generation in his family to receive the Bronze Star.

Zumwalt comes from a distinguished military family which includes his father Jim, a retired Marine; his uncle Elmo, who served on the patrol boats of Vietnam; and his grandfather, Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt, Jr., who served as the Chief of Naval Operations during the Vietnam War.

“I have spoken with thousands across the Panhandle who are concerned about the future of our country,” said Zumwalt. They’re right — American liberty is under attack from radical Islamic extremism, rogue nations, and a runaway government in Washington no longer accountable to the people. I have dedicated my life to defending freedom and the conservative constitutional foundation of the United States of America. To preserve the blessings of liberty for our children and grandchildren, this nation needs statesmen — not politicians. Working on Capitol Hill, the next frontline in defense of this Republic I hold so dear, I will be that statesman for Northwest Florida.”

For more information on Zumwalt, visit zumwaltforcongress.com.

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