The day that was in the CD 13 special election

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The last full week in Florida’s 13th Congressional District campaign begins with a new poll (for those who need a fix), a surprise recommendation for Alex Sink  that’s not quite surprising and the “Super PAC to end all Super PACs” (really!), which appears for some Jolly-bashing radio.

Here is the day that was in the special election in CD 13:

Your daily CD-13 poll fix — Republican-leaning blog Red Racing Horses  reports on a study they commissioned which shows David Jolly holding a slim 2-point advantage over Alex Sink, 46 to 44 percent, well within the +/- 6 percent margin of error. Five percent of voters have favored “another candidate on the ballot,” (assumed to be Libertarian Lucas Overby), with 5 percent undecided. The report continues with some good news for Sink; respondents who already cast ballots (nearly 93K) favored the Democrat 48 to 46 percent.

Any way you look at it, CD-13 is shaping up to be a nail biter.

Pinellas County still loves Bill Young — The RRH survey also found voters still feel overwhelmingly positive about former U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, with 66 percent positive to 15 percent negative, despite the stories about his personal life reported by Andrew Meacham in the Tampa Bay Times after Young’s death. The same group of voters prefer hometown favorite Democrat Charlie Crist over Republican Rick Scott in the upcoming gubernatorial race 44 to 36 percent.

When you think about exactly what Bill Young did for CD-13 over forty years, it certainly comes as no surprise.

Speaking of surprises St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman unsurprisingly announced he is endorsing Alex Sink in the CD-13 race. “At City Hall, we know firsthand that the challenges facing our community are not partisan issues,” Kriseman said in a statement. There is no red or blue, or Republican or Democrat, in filling a pothole, right? Wonder where I heard that before.

Maybe Kriseman found that speech already in his desk at the Mayor’s office.

With Friends like these Friends of Democracy, the Super PAC founded by Jonathan Soros, son of billionaire liberal financier George Soros, launched a $49,000 radio ad buy focusing on David Jolly’s history as a lobbyist. “Most people are proud when they do something good. When they accomplish something. Or help someone,” the ad goes. “But David Jolly says he’s proud … of being a Washington Lobbyist. David Jolly is proud of being exactly what’s wrong with Washington.”

“Proud” also mentions (again) Jolly’s time working for a group that wants to privatize Social Security. A Tampa Bay Times report shows Jolly did work on Social Security advocacy for the right-leaning Free Enterprise Nation, but the Republican continues to deny that he worked directly on the issue. Jolly supports changes to the program, including allowing those who enter the system in the future to invest some of their money, something the ad does not indicate. The ad – funded by a Super PAC created to end Super PACs (notes Creative Loafing’s Mitch Perry) — runs March 1 through Election Day.

$49,000 is a drop in the bucket in CD-13, at this point. 

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.