Endorsement wars are raging in Pinellas congressional race
There’s something of an endorsement war going on in the Pinellas congressional race, and this time candidate David Jolly scored one on the home turf of fellow Republican Kathleen Peters.
The Jolly campaign announced the endorsement of Dan Calabria, mayor of South Pasadena. Peters is a former mayor of South Pasadena.
Calabria said Jolly “is the only candidate who will hit the ground running on day one - no on-the-job training needed - and will work to keep the issues that are important to us at the forefront in Washington.”
And in other news from the Pinellas County congressional seat on Tuesday:
• The Pinellas Supervisor of Elections sent out 77,071 mail ballots to Republican voters for the Jan. 14 primary in the special election. That’s in addition to 993 previously mailed to military and overseas voters.
• Democratic Alex Sink has branched out from political-leader endorsements to small-business-owner endorsements. She announced these backers: Daniel Beauchesne of All Florida Fire; Mandi Tucker of Salon 131; Gordon Chernecky of Shield Insurance; Keith Burden of Reel Deal Outdoors Inc.; Kirk Smith of Monitors & More; Choon Hee Tou of Joe's Produce; and Joe Barkley of Barkley Insurance Agency.
• Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times explains the unique challenge David Jolly faces as a lobbyist-turned-candidate.
• A legislative candidate has ties to David Jolly, but says that has nothing to do with why he’s running for the House seat now occupied by Rep. Kathleen Peters.
The candidates are in a fast-paced campaign in a special election to succeed the late Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who died Oct. 18. The three Republicans – Jolly, Peters and Mark Bircher -- face off in a primary on Jan. 14 and will then go on to face Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby in the March 11 general election. The candidates are running in the 13th Congressional District, which runs from south Pinellas to Dunedin, with portions of southern and downtown St. Petersburg cut out.