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“Conservative for Congress” Neal Dunn visits Marianna

Dr. Neal Patrick Dunn and Bo McMullian at the TIMES office Monday afternoon. Dr. Neal Patrick Dunn and Bo McMullian at the TIMES office Monday afternoon.

Neal Patrick Dunn M.D.’s resume is three pages long, single-spaced, with entries such as: Panama City surgeon for 25 years, 10 years active duty in US Army ending at the rank of Major, founding president of the Advanced Urology Institute, founding chairman of Summit Bank of Northwest Florida, board of directors of Enterprise Florida and board of governors of the Florida Medical Association.  He became a surgeon after completing George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and performed his internship at Walter Reed Medical Center.  

Yet the 61-year-old conservative Republican wants to add another prestigious accomplishment, that of  US Congressman for the 2nd District of Florida; he visited the TIMES offices in Marianna on Monday with his campaign assistant Tyler Russell of Panama City.

“I have three core issues in my campaign,” Dunn explained.  “They are healthcare, the economy/jobs and national security.  I will work to repeal Obamacare, stop illegal immigration, cut spending and protect the 2nd Amendment.”  Dunn also is 

pro-life.  

The doctor had some critical words for his opponent, incumbent Rep. Gwen Graham, a Democrat, although he is of the opinion she actually may not run due to the changes in the 2nd Congressional District. Redistricting removed her strong areas including Gadsden and most of Leon County.  “She always lines up with the Democratic party,” Dunn explained, “although she tries to look moderate at times by voting not with the Democrats on safe issues, issues which will fail anyway.

“She voted against the repeal to Obamacare that currently is sitting on the President’s desk,” Dunn continued, “the bill that just left the House after clearing the Senate.  She has shown her support for sanctuary cities, the municipalities that protect illegal immigrants.  And she voted against the bill to defund Planned Parenthood, which makes me wonder if she is serious about running in the 2nd 

District.” 

Graham’s lukewarm response to the news about Tyndall AFB last week really has Dunn and other Panhandle Conservatives 

steamed.

“The Obama Administration has made a mess of illegal immigration, and now he wants to dump these detainees in our backyard at Tyndall Air Force Base, headquarters of the 1st Air Force, potentially hindering the primary mission of the base,” said Dr. Dunn. 

Graham’s comment was: “I understand concerns surrounding this issue and have reached out to leadership at Tyndall to ensure, if chosen, this will not interfere with their mission or the critical work they perform to keep our country 

safe.”

Russell and Dunn said the former District 2, before the 2015 redistricting, favored conservatives or Republicans; Graham only won her first election to the post in 2014 by 1 percent.  But the new District 2 is overwhelmingly conservative or Republican in national elections, statistics show.  “The new District has changed things a lot,” 

Russell said.  “It is uncertain what Rep. Graham will do.  But as they stand now, the District changes to an R + 18 percent seat.  Under the new lines, GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s share of the vote (in the presidential election of 2012 would have gone) up from 52 percent to 65 percent.  For perspective, Graham won by just over one percentage point in 

2014.” 

There is speculation that Gwen Graham will sit this election out since a defeat may look bad on her record and that she may be considering running for another office in the near future. Her campaign coffers are overflowing with cash contributions.  Her office issued a news release Monday saying she “has raised more than $2 million and has over $1.7 million cash on hand, heading into the New Year. The campaign raised $437,000 in the last quarter and Graham is expected to again rank among the top Democratic fundraisers in 

the country.” 

Dunn said that $8 million was spent on her 2014 race in which she defeated two-term incumbent Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Panama City) by that 1 percent margin.  Graham herself raised $3.6 million but an additional $2.5 million came from the Democratic Party.  According to the Federal Elections Commission, the Dunn Campaign had raised more than $450,000 by September 

2015 and spent less than $45,000.  Those figures for the Mary Thomas, the single other Republican currently in the race for District 2, were $200,000 in contributions with $158,222 cash on hand.  Graham had reported contributions totaling $1.5 million as of September 2015.

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Last modified onFriday, 15 January 2016 13:37
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