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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Billionaire Dolphins owner funds last minute TV blitz in special House race



Florida Jobs First, the political committee of billionaire Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, is funding a closing days TV ad blitz to help Republicans win the special state House District election to succeed Republican Mike Fasano. The committee has bought $75,000 worth of TV time, including $36,000 for broadcast TV and $39,000 for cable, in Tampa Bay from Oct. 12 through Oct. 15, election day.

Florida Jobs First had previously funded mailers attacking Miami-Dade Republican state House members for opposing a new Dolphins stadium.

"Florida Jobs First has been clear in its intent: we intend to engage in House and Senate  races around the state in both general elections and primaries to ensure Gov. Scott has the partners he needs to create goods jobs for the people of Florida," said Michael McKeon, an adviser to Florida Jobs First. "We looked at both candidates and decided in this case to support the Republican candidate. We believe his views are more consistent with creating good jobs in Florida. We fully intend to engage in the 2014 cycle and will make decisions on a case by case basis. Our efforts in Miami Dade will continue, and even expand, but we will engage wherever we believe we can have an impact."

On WEDU's Florida This Week Friday, Fasano, now Pasco County's tax collector, formally endorsed Democrat Amanda Murphy over Republican Bill Gunter:

"She is a person that's way above Bill Gunter. She understands the issues. She gets it.... She will be that consumer advocate that we don't want to lose out of House District," said Fasano, who estimates Gunter will have $1-million spent on his behalf by the time the votes are counted. "He's a good guy, but there's no question he's getting his marching orders from the leadership and special interests out of Tallahassee. And truly they tell him to jump and he asks how high. He has no idea as to the important issues to the district in Pasco County."

On Saturday morning, Attorney General Pam Bondi, House Speaker Will Weatherford, and House Speaker-to-be Richard Corcoran are scheduled to hold a 9:15 a.m. rally for Gunter in Port Richey, while Fasano will join Murphy for a 10:30 a.m. rally in Port Richey.


[Last modified: Saturday, October 12, 2013 12:16pm]


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