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Senate candidate David Jolly hosts campaign kickoff in Clearwater Monday night

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Republican Congressman David Jolly is hosting a kickoff event Monday evening for his newly announced U.S. Senate campaign.

Jolly, who now serves Florida’s 13th Congressional District, will hold a rally starting 7 p.m. at Alfano’s Restaurant in Clearwater during the monthly meeting of the Republican Club of Greater Largo.

Jolly is seeking the open Senate seat vacated by Marco Rubio as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination for 12016.

If Jolly wins, the Indian Shores resident and Dunedin native will be the first lawmaker from either Pinellas, Hillsborough or Pasco Counties to represent Florida in the Senate. So far, Jolly faces a crowded Republican field, including fellow U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis from North Florida, who is already in the race, and Jeff Miller from Northwest Florida, expected to enter the race soon. Also running for Senate is sitting Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, and Todd Wilcox, a defense contractor.

After announcing his Senate ambition, Jolly immediately becomes the frontrunner with a 10-point lead, according to a new poll released last week.

 Alfano’s Restaurant is at 1702 Clearwater Largo Road in Clearwater.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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