David Jolly and Charlie Crist spent much of Saturday the way they’ve spent much of the past few months – casting a net for votes.
Jolly, the Republican incumbent, is facing a challenge from Democrat Crist for the 13th Congressional District seat.
Jolly spent the first part of the morning at an Alzheimer’s Awareness Fair at the Barnes and Noble bookstore on the University of South Florida campus in downtown St. Petersburg. His office had helped arrange the event, which included a book signing by Jolly’s friend Kent L. Karosen.
Karosen, president and CEO of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, recently published the book, Why Can’t Grandma Remember My Name? The book provides a way for parents and family to share with children what is happening to Grandma or other loved ones.
Jolly said that, during his time in office, he has made it a priority to increase federal funding for Alzheimer’s research. This year, he said, the House Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member, designated $1.286 billion to Alzheimer’s research. That is $350 million more than the previous fiscal year. The funding will go toward finding better detection and treatment options, improving early diagnosis, and finding a cure.
Jolly said he’s also pushing for Medicare coverage of testing that could detect Alzheimer’s even before it sets in. The earlier the disease can be caught, he said, the more likely it is to be controlled or even eventually cured.
Crist was hopscotched around Pinellas. traveling from Pinellas Park to Clearwater and back to St. Petersburg. Crist was accompanied by former Congressman Jim Davis, a Democrat from Tampa.
Ben Diamond also accompanied the two. Diamond is a Democrat running for state House District 68. He’s opposed by Republican Joseph “JB” Bensmihen. There is no incumbent in the race.
Crist also had robocalls going out over the weekend from civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who campaigned for Crist earlier last week in St. Petersburg. Lewis is urging Pinellas residents to vote for Crist based on his record of fighting for civil rights and voting rights, particularly affecting the African-American community. Lewis also points out NAACP praise for Crist.
Sunday is the last day of early voting. The election is Tuesday.