TAMPA, Fla. — One Tampa native is throwing his hat in the ring for a chance to represent the Bay area in the U.S. Congress.
James Judge, a 37-year-old local businessman, has officially entered the race for Florida’s 14th Congressional District. He's running as Republican in hopes of unseating Democratic incumbent Kathy Castor.
“We have many problems facing our local area and our nation, and career politicians like Ms. Castor, who think they can walk all over our freedoms, need to understand who they work for and that restricting liberties is fundamentally un-American," Judge wrote in a news release.
According to his campaign, Judge was born in Clearwater and attended local grade schools before graduating from Eckerd College. He's also a U.S. Coast Guard veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Adak from 2004-2005.
Judge currently runs a PR and marketing firm headquartered in Tampa.
“At Judge PR, we advise hundreds of businesses and their leadership, and I plan to bring many of those proven strategies to Washington, where I will work to lower taxes and strive to support economic policies to help bring this inflation under control,” the candidate wrote. “It’s undeniable, the out-of-control spending and paying people to not go to work has got to stop.”
In his campaign announcement, Judge identifies as an unconventional candidate who is "not a politician."
"I am a Christian, husband, veteran and a native Floridian, and I hate where I see this country headed," he added.
Judge is also a "proud member of the NRA, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion," according to the news release.
Rep. Kathy Castor was elected in 2006 when she made history as the first woman to represent Hillsborough and Pinellas counties in the U.S. Congress.
She is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
According to her website, Castor "works on initiatives to create jobs, protect the environment and consumers, improve schools, ensure veterans receive the benefits and care they have earned, provide access to affordable health care and defend protections for people with preexisting health conditions."