The day that was in the CD 13 special election

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Between the GOP and David Jolly, there are a whole lot of people thrown under the bus for the Friday before the March 11 ballot for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

With only four days left, there may still be some room.

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

Under the Bus — Behind the scenes, Jolly’s campaign has “caused grief for Republican leaders in Washington,” writes Alex Isenstadt in Politico. After the GOP spent nearly $2 million on the CD 13 race, resources that could help grateful candidates this year, Jolly declined to comment (on at least two occasions) that he would back House Speaker John Boehner. It was only after the second response that Jolly tweeted that he actually would support Boehner.

For the GOPs $2 million, 140 characters just don’t cut it. That works out to $14,300 per.

Follow the Surge — According to the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections, 46,442 Republican ballots have returned, compared to 42,612 Democratic, a difference of 3,830 — a marked increase from the less than two thousand votes a week ago. It is the fourth day in a row for the GOP surge. But is it enough, asks Peter Schorsch. The independent vote should break heavily for Sink, perhaps enough to overcome any initial lead held by Jolly.

In other words, before Tuesday, all bets are off.

Under the Bus: Redux — When is a Libertarian, not a Libertarian? When it is Rand Paul shilling for David Jolly, that’s when. In a robocall he cut for the Republican, Paul called Jolly someone who wants to “ensure you, not the government, are making decisions for you and your family,” which “thwarts” Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby. The estimated 20,000 voters to hear the robocall would be likely Overby voters, not necessarily those who would have voted for Sink. So it only hurts Overby’s chances.

With Paul and Jolly about, it’s getting a little crowded under the bus.

Number of the day: 12.5 — As in $12.5 million dollars spent so far in the CD 13 barrage of competing ads, with only one-third controlled by either Sink or Jolly themselves. That’s right; a lopsided majority of the CD 13 race was fought through outside groups — competing nonprofits, Super PACs and party committees.  

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.