Politics

GOP Congressional Candidates Hit the Airwaves in Pinellas County

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: December 9, 2013 3:55 AM
Mark Bircher, Kathleen Peters, David Jolly

Mark Bircher, Kathleen Peters, David Jolly

Republican candidates are taking to the airwaves as they ready for the Jan. 14 primary in the special congressional election for the seat that had been held by the late U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., for more than four decades.

Attorney David Jolly, who worked on Young’s staff, unveiled his first television ad on Thursday which highlights how he worked with the late congressman to help Pinellas County residents.

“I have spent my entire professional life working on behalf of the people of Pinellas County and helping advance local efforts for the betterment of our community in the U.S. Congress at the side of our late Congressman Bill Young,” said Jolly on Thursday. “I am confident that my personal and professional experience, coupled with my profound commitment to serve our local communities, makes me the most equipped candidate to be effective in advocating for our local interests from day one.”

Jolly also tried to showcase his conservative credentials. “I am ready to put true conservative principles to work to help fix what is broken in Washington – including lowering our taxes, cutting wasteful spending, securing America’s borders and replacing Obamacare – and to continue to deliver the good work that Congressman Young was committed to on behalf of the people of Pinellas County,” Jolly added. “As I put my qualifications forward in this race, it is my hope to reach every household and neighbor to show them I am ready and willing to get the job done and do it well.”

Republican primary rival state Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-St. Petersburg, launched a television ad of her own this week, bashing Jolly for his work in Washington. In the ad, Peters plays up her roots in local politics which includes service on the South Pasadena City Commission and serving as mayor of South Pasadena.

In the television ad, Peters does not call out Jolly by name but insists Republicans have a choice between her “deep roots in the community” and a “Washington insider” and a “Washington lobbyist who has put his special-interest clients first.”

Jolly and Peters will battle each other and retired Marine Gen. Mark Bircher in the Republican primary on Jan. 14. Bircher has an ad of his own which plays up his military service and his conservativism.

“We can count on Mark to protect our conservative values in Washington,” the narrator of Bircher’s ad says. The narrator insists Bircher has the “courage to stand up to President Obama, his failed health-care scheme and the out-of-control spending that will bankrupt our children.”

Whoever wins the Republican primary will battle former state CFO Alex Sink, who was the Democratic gubernatorial nominee who lost to Rick Scott in the 2010 gubernatorial election, and Libertarian Lucas Overby in the March 11 general election.

Republicans at the national level continue to launch attacks against Sink. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) slammed Sink for backing President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

“Alex Sink is campaigning for Congress on her support of Obamacare even though it’s already kicking Florida families off their health care plans and forcing them to pay more for coverage,” said Katie Prill, a spokeswoman for the NRCC, on Friday. “Sink’s dismal record as CFO of Florida and her plans to push costly and devastating policies on Pinellas County families proves that she is a risk Floridians can’t afford.”



Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

 

 


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