The Young Floridians for Opportunity and the Pinellas County Young Republicans are honoring U.S. Rep. David Jolly as the second annual Statesman of the Year.
The award ceremony and dinner will be held at the Feather Sound Country Club on Saturday, August 22. The event begins at 6 p.m., but there is a VIP reception starting at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets to the ceremony can be purchased for $75 for members or $100 for non-members. VIP tickets are $100 for members and $175 for guests.
The Host Committee for the dinner includes Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Nick Diceglie and Treasurer Casey Cox, Vice Chair Todd Jennings and Secretary Pam McAloon.
The host committee also includes State Reps. Kathleen Peters, Larry Ahern, Chris Latvala, Chris Sprowls, and James Grant. State Committeewoman Nancy Riley, State Committeeman Dan Tucker and State Attorney Bernie McCabe also comprise the committee, as well as St. Pete City Councilman-elect Ed Montanari, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and last year’s Statesman of the Year, state Sen. Jeff Brandes.
While the event is a pay-per-plate dinner, the proceeds do not go to Jolly. A flier advertising the ceremony points out that he is not seeking political contributions.
Jolly recently announced he’s running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Marco Rubio. He did so after a Florida Supreme Court ruling mandating redrawn congressional districts that will likely make Jolly’s district less safe for a Republican.
Democrats are already lining up to run for Jolly’s seat. Erick Lynn has already filed. Former Governor and failed gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist is expected to run. Former Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern has also said she would run.
On the Republican side, former St. Pete Mayor Rick Baker’s name is being thrown out as a viable conservative candidate with positive name recognition in the district that will likely include all of St. Pete after lines are redrawn.