ORLANDO, FLORIDA – After serious consideration and numerous discussions with family, friends, and advisers, Commander Demetries Grimes, USN (Ret.), a combat-decorated former naval aviator, has made the decision to withdraw from the race for Florida’s 35th State House District special election.
Commander Grimes, a respected figure in the local and Greek-American communities had been endorsed by Congressman Gus Bilirakis who stated “ Commander Grimes’s military background and his deep commitment to supporting our servicemen and women make him the perfect advocate for their well-being and care. He will work tirelessly to ensure they receive the support and respect they deserve.”Grimes has decided to pivot his efforts towards other deeply personal and impactful endeavors.
The first is dedicated advocacy in support of the ‘‘Aviator Cancer Examination Study Act’’ (H.R. 7524). The proposed legislation seeks to investigate the alarmingly high rates of various cancers that are disproportionately affecting fellow naval aviators and aircrew who have operated the US Navy’s E-2 Hawkeye aircraft.
“As a former naval aviator myself, I’ve personally witnessed the harrowing health complications faced by many of my peers,” Grimes said. “I believe my efforts can make a significant difference if I commit to this important cause fully.”
Secondly, Grimes has announced his intention to complete the “Court of War” series screenplay. This work is inspired by his deployment to Afghanistan and his engagement in Legal Operations with Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435.
“The experiences I had and the lessons I learned during my deployment are stories that need to be told,” Grimes said. “I hope that by sharing these narratives, we can better understand the complexities of war, the counterinsurgency effort, and the critical role of legal operations within it.”
Third, Grimes, a published writer and commentator on national security and foreign affairs will continue his efforts to raise awareness regarding geopolitical threats and opportunities. Grimes has served in assignments as a naval aviator, Secretary of Defense Executive Fellow, US Naval Attaché to Israel and Greece, deputy commander of the US military base in Crete, and adviser on Ukraine and non-NATO partners to NATO’s Maritime Commander in London, UK.
Commander Grimes expressed deep gratitude to his supporters in the campaign for Florida House District 35, and assured them that his decision to step back was not taken lightly.
“While it’s difficult to leave the race, I am convinced that, at this moment, my efforts and experience can be best applied in these other crucial areas. I deeply appreciate the outpouring of support I have received throughout my campaign and hope you will join me in these new endeavors.”
Commander Grimes remains dedicated to the public good, the people of Florida, and Greek-American community. He looks forward to contributing in these new capacities to continue fighting for justice, truth, and the betterment of his fellow veterans and citizens.