CD 13 Candidates Start to Make Closing Pitches as Early Voting Begins
Around the State
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.
Sink has made political hay out of Jolly’s 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.
"I’m happy to support Alex Sink for Congress,” Graham said on Thursday. “She'll be an excellent representative and you’ll 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 attacks pouring 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 Obama’s federal health-care law and linking her to U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Sink’s team fired back on Friday, telling the Tampa Bay Times the ad is “misleading” and offers a “wild distortion”of her position. Sink’s team also hit Jolly’s lobbying background.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.