Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Congressman David Jolly coasts in Republican primary, then spars with Democratic foe Charlie Crist

In Pinellas County, incumbent David Jolly skated to victory in the 13th Congressional District Republican primary Tuesday over retired Marine brigadier general and airline pilot Mark Bircher.

Jolly netted 75 percent of the vote to Bircher's 25 percent, according to early results.

First elected in a hotly contested March 2014 special election, Jolly said his attention to constituent service and political independence have served him well.

"I think we demonstrated for the past 2½ years that we work as hard as we can for everybody," Jolly said. "We leave it all on the field every day."

Jolly, 43, will now face a much tougher fight to extend his political career as he pivots to take on a formidable Democratic opponent in November, former Gov. Charlie Crist.

Crist, 60, who lives in St. Petersburg, didn't face a primary opponent.

The jockeying between Jolly and Crist started immediately Tuesday night. Crist attempted to tie the congressman to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Jolly shot back that he's never endorsed Trump, adding that Crist is untrustworthy.

The Jolly-Crist race will be on the national radar as one of the most closely watched congressional races in November. The newly drawn district tilts Democratic after a court-ordered boundary shift brought in heavily Democratic areas in St. Petersburg like Midtown, Childs Park and other neighborhoods formerly represented by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat.

In the 16th Congressional District's Republican primary, Vern Buchanan took a step closer to another term in Congress, easily besting a political novice.

The district now covers a swath of Hillsborough County south of the Alafia River after court-ordered redistricting. The changes brought about 150,000 new voters into Buchanan's district, which he's represented since 2006.

Buchanan, 65, had strongly criticized the redraw last year, but the new boundaries didn't provide much of a hurdle for him Tuesday. He received 73 percent of the vote in Hillsborough County.

Overall, Buchanan got 81 percent of the vote in unofficial results, compared with 19 percent for James Satcher, 37, a minister and missionary from Parrish who was making his first bid for political office.

"I thank the voters in today's primary," Buchanan said in a statement. "I am humbled by their support for my agenda to end Washington dysfunction, grow the economy and keep Americans safe."

The traditionally Republican-leaning district, which also covers all of Manatee County and the northern half of Sarasota County, also had a Democratic primary.

Sarasota lawyer Jan Schnei­der, 69, bested Brent King, 50, a commercial airline pilot who lives in Lakewood Ranch.

Schneider received 76 percent of the vote to King's 24 percent in unofficial results.

Contact Charlie Frago at cfrago@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow @CharlieFrago.

Congressman David Jolly coasts in Republican primary, then spars with Democratic foe Charlie Crist 08/30/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 11:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    (Smith sig)

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-named prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  2. Nine Florida football players, 62 felony complaints in fraud scandal

    College

    GAINESVILLE — The fraud scandal that has engulfed the University of Florida's nationally ranked football team for weeks exploded Monday with the first detailed accounts of criminal accusations that threaten to derail the Gators' season.

    Florida Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway (81) runs the ball during the Outback Bowl in January at Raymond James Stadium. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  3. Where Rays shortstop Matt Duffy's lost season leads

    The Heater

    BRADENTON — In a perfect world Matt Duffy would have been in New York on Monday with his Rays teammates enjoying the final off day of the year. Instead, he was on Field 4 at Pirate City on a sweltering afternoon, trying to restart his season.

    Rays shortstop Matt Duffy plays in his first game (since rehab was aborted) with the club's instructional league on Monday at the Pirate City baseball field and spring training complex in Bradenton [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  4. Vinny Lecavalier's jersey retirement will be another classic Vinny moment

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — He was the face of the franchise. He was taken first overall in the 1998 NHL Draft by a franchise at the bottom. Art Williams, the nutty Tampa Bay Lightning owner at the time, proclaimed the 18-year-old from Ile Bizard, a Montreal borough, "the Michael Jordan of hockey."

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier talks to the media at Amalie Arena on Monday, September 25, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning announced Monday that Lecavalier's No. 4 jersey will be retired on Feb. 10, when the Los Angeles Kings are in town. Lecavalier, the No. 1 overall pick in 1998, spent 14 seasons with the Lightning, scoring 383 of his 321 career goals.
  5. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]