Friday, April 20, 2018
Politics

Not all Republicans are standing behind David Jolly

Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub has decided not to run for Pinellas County's open congressional seat and said he's supporting someone who has yet to enter the race — state Rep. Kathleen Peters.

Ayoub's decision came as candidate David Jolly continued to gather momentum, money and supporters in the race to win the Republican nomination to the seat left vacant by the death of longtime U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young.

Jolly picked up support on Wednesday from state Sen. Jeff Brandes and retired Maj. Gen. Douglas Burnett, who was commanding general of Florida's National Guard. Jolly also has assembled a potent financial team that includes Ambassador Mel Sembler, once finance chairman for the Republican National Committee.

Of Jolly, Ayoub said, "I don't think it makes sense to send a lobbyist to Washington to fix things."

He also said he has heard other Republicans make statements like, "We don't elect by coronation."

Ayoub's comments indicate the Republican Party may still face a primary election battle in this hastily called special election: the primary is Jan. 14 and the general election March 11.

Peters has said she is considering a run. Ayoub said Wednesday that he believes she will get into the race. She could not be reached Wednesday.

Ayoub said he was intrigued by the possibility of running for the seat, which extends from the southern tip of Pinellas County to Dunedin, with a swath of southern and downtown St. Petersburg left out. Many encouraged him to run.

Ultimately, he decided, "my heart's still in Safety Harbor."

Peters, a Republican and former mayor of South Pasadena, "has years of experience representing the people of her district," Ayoub said.

Jolly is a Washington lobbyist who also was a longtime aide and general counsel to Young, and has been endorsed by Young's widow Beverly. Since 2006 he has lived in Indian Shores and commuted to Washington for work.

Jolly has stressed his Pinellas roots and pointed out that for virtually his entire career — even when living in the Washington area and working for Young — he worked intimately on projects designed to help Pinellas County.

"I think we can do better than David Jolly," said Ayoub, who doesn't know Jolly personally.

In response, Jolly said he has nothing but respect for both Ayoub and Peters.

"This race is about ensuring someone from Pinellas is elected to represent Pinellas," he said. "I look forward to working with everyone in our party and our county over the course of this campaign."

It appears all but certain that the Democratic Party will avoid a primary. Alex Sink, a former Florida chief financial officer and Democratic candidate for governor, is seeking the seat and amassing her own lineup of endorsements and contributions. Jolly has criticized her as an outsider. She plans to move from Hillsborough County to Pinellas County in order to run.

Libertarian Lucas Overby also is running.

Staff Writer Curtis Krueger can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8232. Twitter: @ckruegertimes.

Comments
Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

The one thing you can say for sure about electing a mayor in Tampa is you can’t really say anything for sure.Historical proof: A couple of elections ago, Harvard-educated hometown-boy-gone-to-Washington Frank Sanchez was going to be our next mayor, h...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Published: 04/20/18
Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

TAMPA — For months, Tampa political aficionados have speculated: Will she or won’t she?Does Jane Castor, the city’s first woman police chief and presumed heavyweight mayoral candidate, really want the job? Asked and answered. Castor filed paperwork T...
Published: 04/19/18
Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

TAMPA — President Donald Trump has tweeted "trade wars are good, and easy to win."Don’t believe it, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told Tampa business and political leaders on Wednesday."We share more with you than with anybody els...
Published: 04/19/18
Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

BROOKSVILLE — Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Don Barbee this week submitted his resignation — effective Jan. 7 — to run for an open circuit judge seat.Barbee, who is in the middle of his second term, said he made the move "with a tremendo...
Published: 04/17/18
Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Democrats hold an advantage ahead of the midterm elections, but a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that edge has narrowed since January, a signal to party leaders and strategists that they could be premature in anticipating a huge wave of victorie...
Published: 04/16/18
Spokesman: Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing health

Spokesman: Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing health

HOUSTON — Former first lady Barbara Bush is in "failing health" and won’t seek additional medical treatment, a Bush family spokesman said Sunday. "Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors...
Published: 04/15/18
Trump assails Comey in tweetstorm, calls for ex-FBI director to be imprisoned

Trump assails Comey in tweetstorm, calls for ex-FBI director to be imprisoned

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump attacked James Comey in a fusillade of tweets Sunday morning, calling for the former FBI director to be imprisoned as Trump served up a number of his favorite theories and alleged misdeeds without evidence.Trump’s ...
Published: 04/15/18
President Trump’s approval rating is back near first-100-day levels

President Trump’s approval rating is back near first-100-day levels

President Donald Trump’s approval rating stands at 40 percent in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, slightly more than his 36 percent approval rating when last measured in January. It’s also the highest he’s enjoyed in Post-ABC polling since his fi...
Published: 04/15/18
Gun rights advocates holding rallies at state capitols in US

Gun rights advocates holding rallies at state capitols in US

DOVER, Del. — Gun rights supporters — many carrying rifles and ammunition — gathered at state capitols across the U.S. on Saturday to push back against efforts to pass stricter gun-control laws that they fear threaten their constitutional right to be...
Published: 04/15/18