The Republican Party of Florida is taking umbrage with attacks on Majority Leader Dana Young, even calling for federal elections officials to step in.
Young faces Democrat Bob Buesing in the Senate District 18 election.
The district is seen as one of a few Democrats can pick up across the state, and Democrats and other outside groups have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking the Tampa Republican. In a recent ad, the state party tries to tie Young to Republican Donald Trump, and takes a swipe at her support of a bill to regulate hydraulic fracking.
“Dana Young still supports Donald Trump, but she’s not supporting us,” an announcer says in a 30-second spot paid for by the Democratic Party of Florida. “Dana Young, she’s too dangerous for Tampa.”
Blaise Ingoglia, the chairman of the Florida GOP, called the advertisement a “smear piece,” and said it “is disingenuous, unethical and potentially violates FEC campaign finance laws.” In a statement, he called on the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether the state party violated federal campaign finance law.
“They should know that you cannot use the likeness, or the name, of a federal candidate in an ad for a state candidate without adhering to federal campaign finance law,” said Ingoglia, who also serves as a state representative. “We call upon the FEC to investigate this potential huge violation and for the Florida Dems to pull the ad down or to fully comply with all federal campaign finance laws. It’s truly sad that they have to resort to dirty politics instead of trying to win on the issues.”
Young currently leads Buesing in the district. According to the latest St. Pete Polls survey, 40 percent of voters in the district said they were backing Young, while 35 percent said they were backing Buesing.