Chris Sprowls receives endorsement from former Marine Gen. “Butch” Neal

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Chris Sprowls received a significant military endorsement in his campaign for Florida House District 65 from retired Marine Corps. General Richard “Butch” Neal.

Neal, a former North Pinellas resident, served as Deputy Commander in Chief/Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command MacDill AFB. 

Sprowls is running to unseat incumbent Democrat Rep. Carl “Z” Zimmermann for the north Pinellas County seat, which covers the cities of Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Palm Harbor and East Lake.

Neal served as Commanding General of the Second Marine Division and became Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps on in 1996, acting as Deputy Commander for the U.S. Central Command before retiring in 1998. Neal recently served as President of the Military Officers Association of America.

 “I have known Chris Sprowls almost his whole life,” Neal says. “I know who he is, and what he is made of. Chris Sprowls is a true leader, and a strong advocate for veterans. He will make us proud.”

 “General Neal has been a mentor to me for a long time,” Sprowls responds. “It is because of his example that I have worked to ensure that our community and our justice system protect the interests of our service members.”

“I am truly grateful for his support and I look forward to continuing our work together.”

Neal joins a host of Republican legislators cheering on Sprowls in his Florida House effort, including Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, State Attorney Bernie McCabe, State Sen. Jeff Brandes and Pasco Tax Collector Mike Fasano among others.


Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.