Florida Politics: Democrat Pam Keith launches her bid against Brian Mast in CD 18



Democrat Pam Keith has made official her bid to run in Florida’s 18th Congressional District, launching her bid against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast.

Keith, a labor lawyer and former U.S. Navy judge advocate general who ran last year for the Democrat’s U.S. Senate nomination, is seeking to make Mast vulnerable on his vote this spring on the American Health Care Act.

“It’s shocking to watch Brian Mast vote to rip healthcare away from 60,000 parents, children and veterans in his district,” Keith said in a news release announcing her candidacy. “That’s essentially every person in Indiantown, Stuart, and Fort Pierce all losing their coverage.”

Keith, of Palm Beach Gardens, cited independent analysts for estimating that the Republican health care bill would remove coverage from 63,300 constituents in CD 18.

She also accused Mast of voting for legislation that could reduce environmental protections, and vowed she would push to protect the Treasure Coast’s drinking water and clean water economy.

“Congressman Mast votes for pollution in our drinking water instead of protecting our rivers and beaches. He’ll do whatever Trump and the Republicans ask even if it’s wrong for our community,” Keith stated “Voters deserve someone with enough experience to understand the system, and enough courage not to be cowed by it.”

Last year Keith ran a low-budget campaign that positioned her largely as an afterthought in what was viewed as a two-person race for the Democrats’ U.S. Senate nomination, between then-U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson. Murphy won the primary in landslide fashion. Keith, who said she put 117,000 miles on her car traveling the state, drew 16 percent, just behind Grayson’s 18 percent.