Jack Latvala: Run for reelection, David Jolly, and beat Charlie Crist
We can't think of anybody who worked harder against David Jolly in 2014 when he ran for the GOP nomination to succeed his old boss, the late C.W. Bill Young, in the U.S. House than state Sen. Jack Latvala. He backed the unsuccessful campaign of Kathleen Peters, casting Jolly an outsider from K Street in Washington.
But Latvala has become a big fan of Jolly -- He, Peters, and a bunch of other prominent Pinellas Republicans are hosting a fundraiser for Jolly's Senate campaign in Clearwater -- and he's adding his voice to those urging Jolly to for another term in the U.S. House rather than the senate.
"He has immersed himself in Pinellas County," Latvala said. "He has been an outstanding congressman in the mold of Bill Young."
Latvala is also convinced Jolly can beat likely Democratic nominee Charlie Crist, even with the district re-drawn to heavily favor a Democrat. The veteran political consultant has paid for the polling that shows that, he said. "Multiple polls, actually, because we didn't believe it the first time," Latvala said.
Trump actually narrowly leads in some Pinellas polling, he said, and could be a big help to Jolly. "There are people that don't normally vote - people in places like Lealman, places like Pinellas Park, that are whipped up by Donald Trump, and those are people who will vote for David Jolly over Charlie Crist.
The mainb criteria, Latvala said, is who will do the most good for Pinellas County.
"As he moved up the ladder, what has Charlie Crist ever really done for Pinellas County?"