Republican groups make seven-figure push in Florida special election


Republican David Jolly (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

A trio of Republican groups is teaming up to make a seven-figure investment in Florida's 13th district special election, upping the ante in an race seen as a potential harbinger of the November midterms.

American Crossroads, American Action Network and YG Network are combining for a $1.2 million investment in the race to help Republican nominee David Jolly, a former lobbyist and aide to late congressman C.W. Bill Young, the groups confirmed Thursday.

The groups' plans were first reported by Politico.

The 13th district is a swing area that President Obama carried but was represented by Young, a Republican. Jolly and Democratic nominee Alex Sink have taken sharply different views about the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, making the race a testing ground for broader messaging on what looks to be a focal point of the fall campaign.

For Democrats, it's an opportunity to demonstrate that supporting Obamacare, as Sink does, is preferable in the eyes of voters to repealing it, as Jolly is advocating. For Republicans, its a chance to show that even Democrats like Sink who didn't vote for the law are vulnerable to attacks. Sink has said she favors keeping the law but wants to repair it.

The Republican groups will spend money on mailers and television ads. Crossroads and AAN will each pour in $500,000 while YG Network plans to spend about $200,000. On the Democratic side, Sink has received reinforcements from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC.

The election is March 11.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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