Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

David Jolly honored as Statesman of the Year by Young Republican groups

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

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.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

Latest from The Bay and the 'Burg

Go to Top