New Group Targets Quiggle With Negative Ads
Another shadowy 527 group is weighing into Florida’s District 8 Senate race – this time targeting Ponte Vedra Beach businessman Dan Quiggle, who is showing up as the frontrunner in some polls.
The TV ads and mail pieces are to begin Wednesday, attacking Quiggle as being weak on seniors’ issues. The spots are paid for by Citizens for Better Care, whose financing is believed to stem largely from nursing home operators.
Indirectly, the ads may help former House Speaker John Thrasher, once a lobbyist for the Florida Medical Association, and whose status as the district’s likely successor to late Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, has been shaken.
“It’s no surprise that John Thrasher and the special interests are attacking us,” said Adam Gillette, a Quiggle spokesman. “They’ve seen the polls and they know that we’re ahead.”
A McLaughlin & Associates poll late last month for the Quiggle campaign showed the candidate with an eight percent lead over second-place Thrasher, with former Rep. Stan Jordan and Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham trailing. The Republican primary is Sept. 15.
The race has been marked by hard-hitting TV spots – mostly aimed at Thrasher. Stop Tax Waste, Inc., whose financing in part comes from trial lawyers, and Conservative Citizens for Justice, led by Jacksonville lawyer Tom Edwards, a past president of the state’s trial lawyer association, have aired ads targeting Thrasher for his free spending of taxpayer money on House renovations and a pair of ethics violations before and after he took office.
Another TV spot financed by allies of the Florida Justice Association, the attorneys’ group, also points out that Thrasher as a lobbyist worked for trial lawyers on a pair of claims bills in recent years.