The Florida special election to replace former Rep. Bill Young (R) is heating up with a new advertising assault launched Friday from national groups affiliated with both parties and the promise of more to come.
A new ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hammers Florida Republican House candidate David Jolly for his lobbying background, calling him “what’s wrong with Washington.”
And the National Republican Congressional Committee is up with a new ad charging Democrat Alex Sink spent $400,000 in taxpayer money on a plane that she misused for personal and campaign trips.
The ads are part of the more than $4 million pledged by outside groups on the race as early polling shows a tighter competition than many Republicans expected.
The DCCC's ad is the committee’s second in the race, and hits on a common refrain for Democrats: That Jolly’s lobbying background makes him beholden to special interests and unfit to serve in Young’s seat.
“David Jolly spent years working with Washington special interests. Working in Congress, then cashing out as a lobbyist to sell his influence. Lobbying to keep tax loopholes benefiting big oil. Helping special interests that received millions in pork barrel spending,” the ad’s narrator says.
He adds: “So, little gets done for us, while the special interests have lobbyists like David Jolly. He’s what’s wrong with Washington.”
In the NRCC ad, a narrator asks: “Can we trust Alex Sink in Washington?”
“Alex Sink: Taxpayer-funded jets for her, higher taxes for you,” the narrator concludes.
It’s the same attack the NRCC launched early on in the general election, last time via web advertising.
The DCCC has reserved $2 million in the district overall to air ads supporting their candidate, former gubernatorial nominee Sink. Another Democratic group, House Majority PAC, plans to launch ads in coming weeks as well.
With just over five weeks left in the special election, outside groups have already committed more than $4 million to the race.
A trio of Republican groups announced Thursday plans to invest $1.2 million in advertising against Sink, and the Republican Party of Florida has sent out mailers attacking her on ObamaCare and her career as a banking executive.
The influx of cash comes as multiple polls have shown the race within the margin of error, a closer outcome than many Republicans were expecting with a candidate they feel was not their strongest option in the primary.
Republicans say the tight polling, which has largely shown Sink ahead by low single digits, indicates the atmosphere is favorable for them and that there’s time to close the gap with attacks on Sink’s record and ObamaCare.
—This piece was updated to include the NRCC's ad.