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CD 13 Candidates Start to Make Closing Pitches as Early Voting Begins

February 27, 2014 - 6:00pm

With a week and a half to go and early voting starting on Saturday, Democratic former state CFO Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly start their closing pitches to win over Pinellas County voters in the special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., in Congress. Sink, Jolly and Libertarian Lucas Overby meet in the March 11 election.

On Friday, in the lead-up to a debate later that day, the Jolly camp peppered Sink with questions on Obamacare, taking money from lobbyists and asking if she will apologize for comments she made on the jobs immigrants can fill in the economy.

Alex Sink seems adamant on running and endorsing negative attack ads that are scaring seniors and intentionally misleading voters, said Sarah Bascom, a spokeswoman for Jolly on Friday. Throughout this entire campaign, she has declined opportunities to participate in public forums in order to ensure voters do not get a chance to learn where she really stands on the issues. As we saw during the last debate, it is clear that any time her campaign handlers allow for her to have a frank discussion with the people of Pinellas County, her true opinion will inevitably shine through and prove to voters she is not only out of touch with issues important to this county, but that she is willing to put on any disguise for her own political gain despite her offensive views of immigrant workers and her support of Obamacare a law that has hurt Pinellas families and businesses so much already.

Sink has made political hay out of Jollys lobbying background. But like Bascom, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) hit back on Friday, noting that Sink has pulled in more than $10,800 from lobbyists for her campaign.

Alex Sink has turned off voters in Pinellas County with her hypocritical campaign rhetoric and her unwavering support for Obamacare, said Katie Prill, a spokeswoman for the NRCC. Pinellas families deserve an independent voice in Washington, but Alex Sink is proving to be just another mouthpiece for the liberal Washington establishment.

In the meantime, both parties are bringing out former political leaders to woo over undecided voters. Conservative group American Action Network brought out former U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown Waite, R-Fla., to help Jolly on Thursday while Sink called on former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham.

"Im happy to support Alex Sink for Congress, Graham said on Thursday. She'll be an excellent representative and youll be proud you voted for her."

Allison Tant, the chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, also went to bat for Sink on Friday, warning her party about the millions in dishonest attackspouring into Florida against Democrats like Alex Sink and calling on them to help.

Sink also made a pitch to her backers on Friday. Early voting begins tomorrow, Sink informed her supporters. We're down to the wire in a race the Tampa Bay Times says is a dead heat. We know it's going to come down to turnout.

The Sink team has more than 30 events going on across the district this weekend.

As the clock ticks down to March 11, both sides are relying on outside groups that have spent more than $6 million in the race so far. On Friday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a new TV ad attacking Sink for supporting President Barack Obamas federal health-care law and linking her to U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Sinks team fired back on Friday, telling the Tampa Bay Times the ad is misleading and offers a wild distortionof her position. Sinks team also hit Jollys lobbying background.

Reach Kevin Derby at

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