Farewell for now, Clay County.
With the start of the new year came the start of the 118th Congress and several changes for North Central and Northeast Florida's federal representatives. Mandatory redistricting took effect during the 2022 midterms, moving Clay County into the new Fourth District now represented by freshman Congressman Aaron Bean.
It’s with a heavy heart that I share I will no longer be representing Clay County. It has been an honor to serve Clay County over the last two years. Many of my favorite and most fond memories from the last year have come from the dozens of trips to Green Cove Springs, Middleburg, Orange Park and Keystone Heights.
Just this month, we celebrated the opening of the new Andrew K. Baker Veterans Affairs Clinic in Middleburg. This project was years in the making, from identifying the need for the clinic to securing its funding and finally seeing the renaming pass the House of Representatives in December 2022. Clay County's incredible veterans' community deserves the highest quality care and will receive nothing less when they visit the Andrew K. Baker VA Clinic.
Additionally, our team spent a lot of time at Camp Blanding, working with Adjutant Gen. Maj. James Eifert to ensure our Florida National Guard troops are the best in the nation. We've visited dozens of graduation ceremonies for the youth academy there and have even hosted our own interviews there with distinguished alumni from our nation's military academies to appoint the next generation of leaders in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. Camp Blanding will always have my support and I look forward to working with Con. Bean to continue prioritizing its service to our community and our state.
While not in Clay County, JAXPORT employs hundreds of residents in Clay County, and we celebrated big milestones with the team there, including the completion of the harbor deepening project in 2022. JAXPORT is the premier shipping port on the east coast and its importance to the broader North Central Florida economy cannot be understated. We will continue to support JAXPORT's leadership and pursuit of industry excellence for the Sunshine State and our nation.
The Clay County Agriculture Fair was always a favorite stop, and we've made several trips over the last two years, admiring the hard work of the fair's numerous committees to put on an event that outdoes them all. From the exhibits and the demonstrations to the hundreds of 4-H and FFA students showing off for the judges, we're excited to see how this event continues to grow each year.
We will miss our visits to Clay County with Sheriff Michelle Cook and her team and thank our law enforcement leaders for their hard work to keep the greater Clay County community safe. We are grateful for your commitment to making our area the best and the safest place to live, work and raise a family in the Sunshine State.
A frequent stop in our travels across Clay County has been Green Cove Springs, especially with our friends from Green Cove Springs Police Department. The officers and K-9 Grit have been a big part of our family for many years and we are excited to watch their continued excellence and growth.
We will certainly miss our office in Orange Park, the entirety of Clay County, its leaders and the constituents who make it great, but we leave Clay in the talented and capable hands of Con. Aaron Bean and his team. If our office is actively working on a case for you with the IRS, Social Security Administration, Small Business Administration, VA or another federal agency, please contact our Gainesville office so we know how you'd like our advocacy on your behalf to proceed. You may continue your case with our office until completion or transfer it to Con. Bean and his team.
Clay County: thank you from all of us at Team Kat! It has been an honor working alongside you and serving you the last two years. If you ever need anything, we are only a phone call away. Please keep in touch!