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David Jolly embraces his independence from Washington in new TV ad featuring him with a dog

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Harry Truman once said if you wanted a friend in Washington, “get a dog.” In a creative twist on that famous phrase, David Jolly is emphasizing his political independence in his first television ad in his bid for re-election to Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

Jolly has been derided by officials from the National Republican Congressional Campaign after he went on “60 Minutes” this spring to speak about the STOP Act, his proposal that would ban federal office holders from raising campaign contributions. The upshot is that the D.C.-backed organization may not come to his financial aid as Jolly fights to win a district that has been reconfigured in a manner much more favorable to the Democrat in the race, Charlie Crist.

The ad features Jolly’s work on the STOP act, veterans issues and his “no fly, no buy” proposal, legislation he says would protect Americans by closing a firearm background check loophole and prevent potential terrorists from purchasing guns, all by showing clips from news anchors from MSNBC, CNN, and the ABC affiliate in Tampa praising him for his efforts.

“Members of Congress spend too much time raising money,” Jolly says in the ad while talking to his dog, Huck, clad in a “Truman 2016” T-shirt. “And they don’t do enough for our veterans. And they don’t get we can prevent terrorism and protect the Constitution.”

The Crist campaign has reveled in Jolly’s issues with the NRCC. Campaign manager Matthew Van Name cited the strained relations between the group and Jolly in a memo last week.

Jolly narrowly won the CD 13 seat over Democrat Alex Sink by less than two percentage points in the special election to succeed the late Bill Young in 2014. After the district was one of eight that was ruled to be drawn up in violation of the state’s Constitution last year, its new boundaries now include much more of the city of St. Petersburg, making it much friendlier for a Democrat to win.

Jolly dropped out of his race to run for the U.S. Senate seat Marco Rubio was said to be leaving last year. Just before Rubio decided to run again for re-election to his Senate seat in June, Jolly dropped out of the Senate race, and is now running for re-election to his congressional seat.

Watch the ad below:

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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