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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

CD13 primary ends, Trump enters rhetoric



U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Belleair Bluffs, easily defeated retired Marine reserve general Mark Bircher in Tuesday's 13th Congressional District primary.

But within moments of the Associated Press declaring Jolly the winner in a 75-25 percentage point margin victory around 7:35 p.m. (polls closed at 7), his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist fired off the first shot of the general election. 

“This Republican primary season has been pretty frightening. It saddens me to think that anyone who supports Donald Trump's agenda could ever represent Pinellas County. And I look forward to sharing our vision for seniors, veterans, women, students, and our environment in the weeks ahead," Crist said in a statement.

The coming 13th District battle promises to be intense. Jolly hasn't endorsed Trump and said he would probably decide in the voting booth in November if he could even vote for the Republican presidential nominee.

Jolly quickly responded to Crist's statement.

On day one of the general election campaign Charlie Crist has already knowingly lied to the people of Pinellas County. We each have strong convictions about the presidential candidates. I have not endorsed any candidate in the presidential race and for Charlie to suggest otherwise is one more glaring reason why his dishonesty will lead him to defeat in November. You just can't trust Charlie," Jolly said in a statement.

The newly redrawn district added heavily Democratic neighborhoods in south Pinellas and eliminated Republican precincts in north Pinellas County.  

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 8:27pm]


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