CD 13 Candidates Make Last Pitches in Close Contest

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: March 11, 2014 3:55 AM
David Jolly and Alex Sink

David Jolly and Alex Sink

The various campaigns and the pundits are expecting a close contest in Tuesday’s special election for the congressional seat left open by the death of longtime U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., spending recent days scrambling to make last-minute appeals.

Worried about a tight race, Republicans backing David Jolly are starting to fret about Libertarian Lucas Overby who has polled consistently in the mid-single digits and has cracked double digits in some polls.

At the end of last week, American Crossroads, a super-PAC with ties to prominent Republican strategist Karl Rove, unleashed U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in support of Jolly. The son of former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who was the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate in 1988, Paul is a favorite of libertarians and a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

“I'm calling to urge you to vote on Tuesday for David Jolly in the race for Congress,” Paul says in the robocall. “David believes in smaller government. He thinks it's the way to protect our liberty, and I agree. That's why I'm supporting him. He will go to Congress to ensure you, not the government, are making decisions for you and your family. Please remember to vote on Tuesday for David Jolly.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) hit back on Saturday in support of their candidate, former state CFO Alex Sink. David Bergstein, a spokesman for the DCCC, pointed to Paul’s criticism of Social Security and said Pinellas County voters can’t trust Jolly on the issue. The DCCC also hammered Jolly for getting the support of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

“It’s clear that lobbyist David Jolly is already aligning himself with the same dysfunctional politicians in Washington like Sen. Rand Paul and Congressman Paul Ryan who were responsible for the shutdown of our nation’s government,” said Bergstein on Saturday. “Just like Sen. Paul and Congressman Ryan, lobbyist Jolly would make Pinellas seniors pay more by jeopardizing Social Security in order to protect unfair tax breaks for corporations and the ultra-wealthy. It’s just more proof we can’t trust lobbyist David Jolly.”

For his part, Overby spent the weekend showcasing an article from the Washington Times insisting he is building momentum in the race. The Libertarain also showcased his appeal to Democrats, pointing out his stances on energy and social issues.

“I've been a longtime advocate, including several research projects, for alternative energy in the state,” Overby insisted on Sunday. “Also, the vast majority of the advocacy work I've done over the last 10 years has been for women's rights and LGBT rights.”

The various campaigns looked to shore up support on Monday in the final hours before the election. Scott Arceneaux of the Florida Democratic Party turned up the heat on Jolly on Monday in a last-minute attack. 

“Voters have one of two choices: David Jolly, a Washington lobbyist in the pocket of special interests, or Alex Sink, a common-sense leader who will go to Washington to get the job done for us,” Arceneaux insisted as he beat the drum for his party’s candidate. “Millions of dollars have poured into our state to try and defeat Alex. But, Alex hasn't let up for a second – and the polls show that this race is in dead-heat.”

The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) launched a last-minute appeal with a robocall featuring Bill Young II, the son of the late congressman and a candidate for the Florida House. Young praised Jolly who worked for his father and insisted voters could trust him to follow in the congressman’s footsteps by protecting Social Security and fighting against President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (2)

Marks Older Brother
12:43PM MAR 11TH 2014
Sorry for my younger brothers comment, he hasn't been taking his meds. David Jolly will win
6:33AM MAR 11TH 2014
Good luck to Alex Sink today! May the voters vote wisely and select the candidate who will WORK for them!

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.