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David Jolly wins CD 13, will face Charlie Crist in November – war of words has already begun

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The war of words between David Jolly and Charlie Crist has already started, with Jolly accusing his Democratic opponent of lying about his support for Donald Trump.

David Jolly defeated Mark Bircher in the Republican race for Pinellas County’s 13th Congressional District earlier in the evening, and now looks forward to what could be one of the most interesting congressional races in the country as he faces Crist in November.

Jolly led Bircher, 75 to 25 percent, with not all the votes completely counted.

“This Republican primary season has been pretty frightening,” Crist said in a statement. “It saddens me to think that anyone who supports Donald Trump’s agenda could ever represent Pinellas County. And I look forward to sharing our vision for seniors, veterans, women, students, and our environment in the weeks ahead.”

But Jolly has not come out in support of Trump, something he made sure that Crist — and everyone else — knows going forward.

“On Day 1 of the General Election campaign, Charlie Crist has already knowingly lied to the people of Pinellas County, Jolly said. “We each have strong convictions about the presidential candidates. I have not endorsed any candidate in the presidential race, and for Charlie to suggest otherwise is one more glaring reason why his dishonesty will lead him to defeat in November. You just can’t trust Charlie.”

Jolly comes into the race as an underdog, despite one internal poll he conducted earlier this summer that showed him leading in the contest.

The former Florida governor became the Democratic nominee after his only challenger, Eric Lynn, dropped out of the contest back in May to run for a state legislative seat. At the time, polls showed Crist with an overwhelming advantage over Lynn, a first-time candidate.

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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 mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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