Monday, January 22, 2018
Politics

Cash, major names and presences help Team Jolly ramp up

Republican congressional candidate David Jolly has raised more than $100,000 in campaign contributions and he has announced co-chairs for his finance team: former U.S. Ambassador Mel Sembler and St. Petersburg businessmen Jim MacDougald and Bill Edwards. He also has a website, davidjolly.com, and a Facebook page.

Jolly is running in the District 13 Congressional District in Pinellas County, in hopes of succeeding longtime U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young in a special election that was called after Young's death. The primary will be Jan. 14 and the general election will be March 11.

Although the filing deadline is next week, the GOP nomination is not a done deal.

Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub and state Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, confirm they are still considering running. Candidates must file by noon Nov. 19.

Democrat Alex Sink, Florida's former chief financial officer, is running, as is Libertarian Lucas Overby.

Buzz asked Tom Young the other day if he wanted to run for the congressional seat his brother held for nearly 43 years. After careful consideration, Young, 79, who used to run a masonry business, has decided not to.

Waiting in the wings since '10

There's at least one other person to back up the contention by Beverly Young and Jolly that Rep. Young wanted Jolly, his attorney and former congressional aide, to succeed him in Congress. USF St. Petersburg professor emeritus Darryl Paulson tells Buzz that Young told him the same thing several years ago.

"In 2010, I interviewed Young and he told me of his plans to retire that year. He said he wanted to retire earlier, but certain Democrats kept saying 'crazy and untrue things' about him, and it annoyed him so much he continued to run.

"In 2010, he had definitely decided to step down and I was asked to 'leak' the possibility to the media. I did so on the Oct. 16 edition of Florida This Week, mentioning that Young would step down at the end of his current term. The other part that I did not mention at the time was that Young would do whatever he could to help Jolly win his seat. Jolly actually had met with the head of the House Republican campaign committee and other key individuals to line up endorsements and financial support.

"Young did not retire in 2010 and I received some criticisms from political bloggers for being wrong. …

"I wasn't wrong. Young had his mind changed by key Republicans in Congress who believed that because of the public reaction to the passing of Obamacare, they thought they could win control of the House. That was a long shot, because they had to pick up about 60 seats. They knew Young could win re-election and they also knew that they would not have to spend a nickel to defend the seat. A replacement to Young would have brought out top-tier Dems and the race would have been costly. …

"So, Young played the role of party loyalist, announced his re-election, and Jolly's effort to win the seat was put on hold."

Jeb Bush endorses Gov. Scott

It's no secret that Jeb Bush and Rick Scott are not best buddies, but, given that Gov. $100-Million-For-Re-election has drawn no serious primary challenge, there was never any question former Gov. Bush would endorse the Republican incumbent. On Tuesday, he did.

"It's simple why I'm supporting Rick Scott," Bush said in a statement. "He campaigned on a platform of getting Florida's economy back on track, and has delivered on that promise. … Rick Scott demonstrated leadership when Florida needed it most, and he is the best candidate to lead our state for four more years."

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