David Jolly, the Republican candidate running in a special election for the congressional seat left vacant by the death of U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., showcased his local support on Monday while former state CFO Alex Sink, the Democrat in the race, went on the attack. The candidates and Libertarian Lucas Overby are running in the March 11 special election.
On Monday, Jolly unveiled the endorsements from a host of mayors in the Tampa Bay area, including Bertram Adams of Redington Shores, Chris Arbutine of Belleair Bluffs, Robin Baldwin of Belleair Beach, Dan Calabria of South Pasadena, George Cretekos of Clearwater, Dave Eggers of Dunedin, Jim Lawrence of Indian Shores, Steve McFarlin of St. Pete Beach, Robert Minning of Treasure Island, Travis Palladeno of Madeira Beach, Bill Queen of North Redington Beach, John Robertson of Belleair Shore, Nick Simons of Redington Beach, Sandra Bradbury of Pinellas Park and Leslie Waters of Seminole.
Today, we join in supporting David as the best choice to represent our Pinellas County communities in Congress, said Queen. Pinellas is Davids home and the people who live here are his neighbors. Our concerns and needs are his as well, and I know David will be the most effective and capable person to represent Pinellas from day one and continue the wonderful work that Congressman Young started.
I am thankful to have received the support of these well-respected community leaders who have worked very hard day in and day out to serve, protect and grow our Pinellas County communities, Jolly said. I have observed and know the passion these leaders have for their constituents and our Pinellas County home and, if elected, I look forward to the opportunity to work alongside these dedicated public servants to achieve our collective goal of bettering our community.
In the meantime, Sinks team ramped up their attacks on Jolly. Sink bashed Jolly for relying on super-PACs on Monday, even as House Majority PAC, a super-PAC focused on flipping the U.S. House from the Republicans to the Democrats, announced last week it would spend up to $700,000 in ads attacking against the Republican.
Super-PACs are spending millions on TV ads to attack my record and buy the election for my opponent, special-interest lobbyist David Jolly, Sink emailed supporters on Monday.
Sinks team attempted to highlight her record in Tallahassee. When Alex served as Florida's chief financial officer, she worked hard to bring Democrats and Republicans together to get results for Florida families, the Sink campaign emailed supporters on Monday. In Washington, she plans to do just the same. She'll work with leaders from both sides of the aisle, and won't let dysfunctional politics stand in the way of progress. Whether it's saving money for taxpayers, solving problems like stopping the flood insurance rate hike, or standing up for our seniors and veterans, we know, given the chance, Alex can deliver results.
A candidate forum had been scheduled for Monday but it fell through, leading Overby, who broke 10 percent in a poll released last week though two others had him in mid-single digits, to jab his two rivals.
For anyone planning on attending this afternoon's candidate forum, we just received word that it has been canceled, Overby wrote supporters on Monday. Sink refused to participate and Jolly canceled last-minute.
Overby stressed his fiscal conservatism late on Sunday. If a candidate says they support a balanced budget amendment, but also says they support raising the debt ceiling after Congress passes a resolution to increase spending, they do not support actually cutting spending or balancing the budget, Overby insisted. Talking about a balanced budget amendment and not talking about real solutions to government spending is disingenuous at best.
We must rein in the amount of money that our government spends and we can do that by cutting off the massive amount of waste our Congress funnels our money into," Overby continued. Congress must be held accountable for how they spend our money and rhetoric, double talk, and pushing for massive increases in failed government programs is not going to do that.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.