David Jolly campaign tweaks ad to remove word “conservative” in final days of CD 13 race

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As David Jolly sought the Republican nomination for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, one of his TV spots television ads touted Jolly as a “Bill Young conservative,” referring to the popular Congressman who died in October after representing Pinellas County for more than 40 years.

In the final days before the special election March 11, reports Gregory Giroux of Bloomberg, the ad was revived — with one noticeable change.

The modified ad leaves out a single word “conservative.”

The original version of the ad, which ran 73 times between Dec. 17 and the Jan. 14 primary says, “David Jolly, a conservative in the tradition of Bill Young,”according New York-based advertising tracking firm Kantar Media’s CMAG.

“David Jolly for Congress. In the tradition of Bill Young,” says the new version, which ran March 7 on the ABC Tampa affiliate.

Other than that, the two ads are identical.

In each, Jolly promises to push for spending cuts, balancing the federal budget, protecting military veterans and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which he calls “a mess of broken promises.”

Both versions have comments from former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker; Young’s widow Beverly, and former “The Price is Right” host Bob Barker.

While the change is indeed small, it speaks loudly to how Jolly wants to reach beyond the people who made him nominee. It could also be a function of  the razor-thin race.

Charlie Crist predicted Saturday night that the contest between Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink will be close, with Sink winning. The past GOP governor from St. Petersburg who is again seeking the governorship, this time as a Democrat, made the prediction at the Washington Gridiron Club dinner.

In an evenly divided political region, the former lobbyist and General Counsel to Young faces Sink, Florida’s former CFO. It is a district that chose President Barack Obama by about one percent in 2012, Giroux writes.

More than 121,000 ballots have been cast as of yesterday, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office, in a campaign that cost candidates and outside groups almost $12.5 million.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.