Kevin Hayslett campaign launches $164K TV ad buy

Kevin Hayslett cd 13 ad
The ad highlights Hayslett's career as a prosecutor.

Kevin Hayslett launched a $164,000 TV ad campaign Thursday to promote his run for the Republican nomination in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

The 30-second ad, titled “Followed,” underlines Hayslett’s career as a prosecutor, honing in on his work in prosecuting members of drug cartels. The ad is set to run on broadcast and cable through July 20, with $95,0000 sent to the Tampa broadcast market and $69,000 directed to cable networks. This is Hayslett’s first media expenditure of the election.

The ad describes Hayslett as a “Trump Republican,” who promises to finish building the wall and fight for secure borders. The ad also employs familiar GOP rhetoric, pointing to Congressional Democratic leaders and Trump-dissenting Republicans as the “Washington cartel,” including images of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Liz Cheney, as well as Sen. Mitt Romney. A picture of President Joe Biden stands menacingly behind the group.

“As a prosecutor, I faced down human traffickers and drug cartels. I was threatened, even followed, but you can’t seek justice if you’re looking over your shoulder,” Hayslett narrates in the ad. “In Congress, I won’t be intimidated by the left or open border Republicans. The Washington cartel wants amnesty. I’ll say no. They do nothing as fentanyl floods our streets. I’ll fight to finish the wall.”

The ad concludes with Hayslett saying, “The cartels won’t like this ad — that’s why I approved it.”

While this is the first ad buy of Hayslett’s campaign, he has been promoted by others. Super PAC Stand For Florida launched a $400,000 ad campaign to boost Hayslett near the end of June. That ad series had similar themes, touting Hayslett as a law-and-order conservative who will “stand up to radicals.”

The heavy spending by the Super PAC on the ad campaign shows promise for Hayslett, who has already garnered several prominent endorsements, including support from Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

And, with this additional campaign spend, Hayslett is dominating the ad market against his GOP Primary opponents.

Hayslett faces Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna, Republican strategist Amanda Makki and Christine Quinn in the Republican Primary. Makki lost the Republican Primary to Luna in 2020. Luna’s campaign has spent $74,000 in ad buys previously, and Makki has dished out $14,000 so far. 

Hayslett launched his campaign at the end of January.

The district, which has changed due to redistricting, now extends further north into traditionally red parts of Pinellas County and eliminates parts of St. Petersburg, the currently drawn district’s largest city and a Democratic stronghold. This has left one Democratic candidate — former Barack Obama administration official Eric Lynn — in the race.

Candidates are running to replace outgoing Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist as he runs for Governor.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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