Utilities contribute to PAC friendly to Jolly
David Jolly has been trailing badly in the money race against Charlie Crist in the 13th Congressional District.
The Republican incumbent hasn't gotten any significant outside help while Crist has been aided with substantial ad buys from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and environmental groups.
But Florida utilities have spent some money in support of Jolly recently. Florida Power and Light contributed $250,000 on Oct. 6 and Duke Energy gave $100,000 on Oct. 13 to People for Pinellas, a PAC supporting Jolly.
The latest campaign filings through Oct. 19, show a narrowing cash-on-hand margin. Crist has $169,149 on hand to Jolly's $158,630.
During the first 19 days in October, Crist outraised Jolly $101,202 to $93,274.
Campaigns are mostly won with money, but endorsements help. Both candidates have racked up plenty--from their own parties.
Jolly announced a raft of endorsements from Pinellas County Republican elected officials and some former mayors like St. Petersburg's Rick Baker, who is chairing Jolly's campaign and former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard.
Prominent supporters include Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, State Senators Jack Latvala and Jeff Brandes, State Reps. Kathleen Peters,Larry Ahern, Chris Sprowls and Chris Latvala and Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos.
In all, 16 Pinellas County mayors, four state representatives, both Pinellas County state senators and the Pinellas County sheriff lined up behind Jolly.
The Jolly campaign says this is evidence of their local support as opposed to Crist's Washington backing.
But Crist has his local supporters, too.
Crist has received endorsements from more than a dozen major union and environmental groups and elected Democrats like St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Pinellas County Commssioners Ken Welch, Pinellas County School Board member Rene Flowers, five members of the St. Petersburg City Council and Dunedin Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski. The Stonewall Democrats have also endorsed him.
And Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis penned a column aimed at black voters, urging them to support Crist, saying the former governor has acted in their interests, including accepting stimulus money during the recession and embracing President Barack Obama, an act, Lewis wrote, that may have cost him a U.S. Senate seat.
Lewis' column appeared in the Weekly Challenger.