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NRCC says it looks forward to ‘having conversation’ with David Jolly

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Could the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) be coming to help save the day for David Jolly after all? That could be the case after the head of that committee said late last week he looks forward to having conversations with him in his re-election race against Charlie Crist this fall.

The relationship between the Pinellas County Congressman and the committee responsible for electing Republicans to Congress seemed to be in tatters after Jolly’s appearance on “60 Minutes” back in April. It was then Jolly repeated the charge that he was told at a meeting with the NRCC after being elected in 2014 he needed to raise $18,000 every day.

NRCC Executive Director Rob Simms claimed that was a lie. The Jolly camp said it wasn’t.

Jolly was on the CBS news program to hype his STOP Act, a proposal that would bar members of Congress from personally soliciting campaign donations. NRCC officials appeared to take the proposal personally, and have indicated they wouldn’t be there to support him financially after Jolly announced he would quit his race for the U.S. Senate to run for re-election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

But that was then.

“We look forward to having conversations with him in about what kind of race he intends to run,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden last Friday in a C-Span “Newsmakers” interview. “It’s a much more difficult challenge for any Republican,” he added, referring to how court-imposed redistricting last year skewed CD-13 to be more Democratic-oriented.

Any financial resources the party can provide to Jolly will certainly no doubt be appreciated by the candidate. The Democrat’s House Majority PAC announced earlier this month they intend to spend more than $1.4 million in the Tampa Bay market in the waning weeks of the election in CD 13.

Various polls have shown both candidates with solid leads. Most observers believe it will be an extremely close race.

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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