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David Jolly one of 15 Republicans being targeted by DCCC on college affordability

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As we reported over the weekend, Pinellas County U.S. Rep. David Jolly was one of just 17 House Republicans to vote against his own party’s budget last week. Now the campaign organization dedicated to helping him lose next year is going after a part of that vote that referenced college accessibility.

This week the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is targeting Jolly and 14 other House Republicans in college campus newspapers, attacking them for not supporting Pell Grants — which  provide funding for low-income students working toward undergraduate degrees. A DCCC spokesperson told Florida Politics the ad will be running in the USF Tampa campus paper The Oracle. There are no plans to run it in The Crow’s Nest (the USFSP paper) at this time.

“The Republicans made a clear statement of their priorities by casting votes that would make it more expensive for young people to attend college –- priorities that stand in stark contrast to Democrats,” said Ben Ray Luján, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “We will be using the first week of Congress’s April recess to remind voters just how out of touch Republicans are on college affordability.”

“Only in Washington is voting against your own party’s budget get you attacked from the other side,” laughed Jolly when responding to the story. “This really is creative politicking by a bunch of professional hacks in Washington, D.C., in my opinion,” he added.

Jolly says in fact that he fully supports Pell Grants, and is open to a conversation on expanding them.

“I don’t worry about it as anything more just the noise that it is,” he says of the DCCC attack. “But the fact is it’s dishonest and disengenous and basically what you would expect from a political party sitting in Washington, D.C., that’s never been in Pinellas County.”

Jolly isn’t the only Florida Republican being targeted in the ad campaign. South Florida Republican Carlos Curbelo is also having ads run against him in the campus newspapers of the University of Miami and Florida International University.

Here’s the complete list:

· University of South Florida: U.S. Rep. David Jolly (FL-13)

· University of Miami, Florida International University: U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26)

· University of Northern Iowa: U.S. Rep. Rod Blum (IA-01)

· Iowa State University: U.S. Rep. David Young (IA-03)

· Southern Illinois University: U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12)

· University of Maine: U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (ME-02)

· University of Minnesota Twin Cities: U.S. Rep. John Kline (MN-02)

· University of New Hampshire: U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta (NH-01)

· University of Nevada Las Vegas: U.S. Rep. Joe Heck (NV-03), Congressman Cresent Hardy (NV-04)

· Stony Brook University: U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY-01)

· Syracuse University: U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24)

· Temple University, Lincoln University: U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06)

· George Mason University: U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (VA-10)

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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