The former Army explosive ordnance disposal NCO, who gave both his legs in Afghanistan and is now running for Congress in Florida’s 18th congressional district announced Wednesday he endorses Donald J. Trump for president.
“As the next Congressman from Florida’s 18th District I am proud to support and endorse Donald Trump for President of the United States. I unanimously and wholeheartedly give my support to the next President of the United States, Donald J. Trump,” said congressional candidate Brian Mast.
Mast said he wants to run on the same ticket with Trump because Trump understands what needs to be done.
“With anybody, you take the good with the bad. There’s things that I hate about him and there’s things that I love about him,” he said.
“You know, if you have an infestation of rats and rodents in your home and you need to call the exterminator, you don’t necessarily care about the personality of the exterminator,” he said. “You just care that he gets rid of infestation.”
The retired staff sergeant said he supported Trump before the announcement but wanted to make a definitive statement to avoid the confusion created by an article in the Palm Beach Post.
The paper misconstrued Mast’s firm support for Trump, said the recent Harvard graduate, who deployed to Afghanistan in support of Joint Special Operations Command forces.
“I stand with my district and fellow Floridians in welcoming Mr. Trump to Florida,” he said. Trump rallies supporters in Tampa Saturday.
The combat veteran told Breitbart News as he campaigns for the GOP primary in August, he hears voters talk about many of the same concerns that Trump talks about.
Like many congressional candidates, Mast travels to Washington to meet with party officials and interact with Members of Congress. The veteran said one congressman in particular has become a true friend and mentor, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R.-Mont.).
Zinke, a retired Navy SEAL officer, helped the former bomb specialist develop his approach to campaigning and how to function in Congress, if he is elected, Mast said. “Congressman Zinke just said this: ‘Brian, there always going to be people agree with you and disagree with you. You have to go out there and give them the truth about who you are and let the cards fall where they may.’”
Mast said, “If Congressman Zinke taught me anything else, it was that guys like us, who have gotten the job done while the shells are coming in and there are snipers trying to take us out and bombs going off—yet, we still found a way to do our job, sometimes with people we just met—that determination is what get things done in Congress.”