Democrat Kristen Carlson commits to $250K ad buy in CD 15


Lakeland Democrat Kristen Carlson’s campaign released a quarter million dollar campaign ad Tuesday in her race for Florida’s 15th Congressional District.

The massive ad buy is her first major ad campaign since winning the party’s nomination in a three-way race in the August 28 primary. It will run over the major television network stations and cable stations covering the district for the next seven days and will not be the last, according to campaign manager Conor Hurley.

Carlson’s work as an attorney for several associations in the citrus industry in education and children’s safety and seniors are the main elements of the current campaign ad, including her work in detecting and stopping the import into Florida of altered citrus juices.

Carlson was endorsed by EMILY’s List early on in her primary race which carried with it several large contributions from associations and individuals who support the group’s campaign to elect more women and from local contributors as well.

Political prognosticators had rated her race against Republican state Rep. Ross Spano of Valrico first as “Likely Republican” and then “Lean Republican.” The Economist magazine released a predictive model showing that it now considers CD 15 a “Toss Up.”

The seat is being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, who is not seeking re-election.

Bill Rufty

Former Ledger of Lakeland columnist Bill Rufty is Central Florida political correspondent for SaintPetersBlog and Florida Politics. Rufty had been with the Ledger from 1985-2015, where, as political editor, he covered a wide range of beats, including local and state politics, the Lakeland City Commission, and the Florida Legislature. Ledger editor Lenore Devore said about Rufty’s 30-year career: “[He is] a man full of knowledge, a polling expert and a war history buff … who has a steel trap in his brain, remembering details most of us have long since forgotten.”


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