TV icon Bob Barker made a video endorsement for a candidate running in the Florida 13th Congressional district special election.
The seat became vacant when Bill Young, then 82, who was the longest-serving Republican in the US House of Representatives, died on October 18.
Bob Barker, The Price is Right host for 35 years, gave his endorsement to David Jolly, one of three Republicans running in the January 14 GOP primary. Jolly was a former aide to Young. The other Republican candidates are state representative Kathleen Powers and retired Marine general Mark Bircher. The general election is scheduled for March 11.
In the 30-second political ad, Bob Barker says: “Folks, when you get to be as young as I am, you call it like you see it. That’s why I’m supporting David Jolly for Congress. I admired David as he worked alongside my good friend Bill Young helping wounded veterans, protecting our seniors and children, and by standing up for Pinellas with character and honor… Because with Jolly the choice is right.”
The Bob Barker campaign ad evidently is perceived to be particularly influential among seniors and others who will be voting in the special election in the St. Petersburg area. Barker apparently wants David Jolly supporters to “come on down” to the polls on January 14.
Bob Barker has mainly been known as an animal rights activist and has seldom been overtly political. He recently celebrated his 90th birthday, and 50 years on TV, when he made a return appearance to The Price is Right set (air date December 12) to thunderous audience applause. Barker turned over the reins of the game show to comedian Drew Carey in 2007. The David Jolly campaign bought time to run the ad during commercial breaks when Barker’s appearance on The Price is Right was broadcast.
A Duck Dynasty-endorsed candidate won a runoff election last month in Louisiana for a seat in the US House of Representatives. Leaving aside the Bob Barker endorsement of David Jolly, do you think that in general celebrity endorsements of politicians have an effect on the voting behavior?