Greg Nash

Hours after Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.) announced Monday he would retire, a former top staffer said he will run to replace him.

Justin Grabelle, a former chief of staff to Nugent, quickly secured his former boss’s endorsement.

“Justin has been a close and trusted advisor for me during my time in Congress, and it’s because he shares my view on what it means to be a public servant,” Nugent said in a statement. “He knows the issues, he knows the people, he has the will to fight, and a clear picture of what needs to get done.”

{mosads}Grabelle served as chief of staff once Nugent took office in 2011 until earlier this year. Before that, Grabelle worked as a top aide to Nugent’s predecessor, former Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.).

 “It hasn’t always been easy, but as I’ve learned from my good friend and mentor, if you stay true to your principles and you listen to the people, the results are sure to come,” Grabelle said in a joint statement with Nugent.

Grabelle said in his campaign announcement that he supports term limits, but did not specify how many terms he would serve.

“The cooperate-to-graduate mentality is a career politician’s way of thinking. I support term limits, will abide by them, and will use that freedom to fight for your benefit and not my own,” Grabelle said.

The seat vacated by Nugent is expected to remain in the GOP column. Nugent is the 10th House member to announce they won’t run for reelection in 2016.

Nugent sparked national headlines earlier this year for being kicked off the House Rules Committee in apparent retribution for voting against then-Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).


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