Though there is no clear early favorite in the Republican race for U.S. Senate next year in Florida, Pinellas County U.S. Rep. David Jolly has broken through enough to top some recent polls.
Being based in the Tampa Bay area is also a plus going into next year’s primary, as it’s home to roughly a quarter of the state’s GOP voting bloc. And while his record is solidly conservative, he’s certainly no Tea Partier, and wouldn’t have been elected in last year’s special election in the moderate, swing-district if he had been.
His stance on some votes, as well as his support for same-sex marriage, have put him in the crosshairs of some conservative D.C. groups, which have blasted him as being insufficiently right-wing.
In a memo sent to members of his steering and finance committee last week, Jolly fired back on those groups such as the Club for Growth, writing that his early support has “threatened the special interest scorecard groups in Washington who make a living off dividing our party, off encouraging and ensuring obstructionism and dysfunction, and off misleading the American people for their own financial gain.”
“These groups claim to be conservative, but the policies they push are geared toward centralizing power in Washington, the only place where they have power,” he writes. “And their aim is to fundraise off division to pay their own salaries. This is what the Washington establishment does. It’s most unfortunate, and we as a nation, and as a party, deserve better.”
The Indian Shores resident follows up by mentioning his conservative stances on deficit spending, trade (which he derisively dubs “Obamatrade”), border security (the memo never even mentions the word “immigration”), life (and not abortion), foreign policy and fiscal responsibility.