Delray Beach businessman Kurt Jetta faced a pair of difficult tasks in his 2018 campaign for Congress — winning a Republican nomination as a critic of President Donald Trump, then unseating Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, in a heavily Democratic district.
Jetta has reached the conclusion it can’t be done.
“I could keep grinding away in some hope of a breakthrough, but the odds of success are low and the opportunity cost of me not attending to my company, TABS Analytics, is high,” Jetta said in a recent email to supporters announcing he’s ending his campaign.
Jetta put $250,000 of his own money into the campaign and said he received $114,000 in contributions. He pledged to give refunds to his donors.
“You did not invest in this campaign to see me quit so early in the process, so I will be putting in enough money to the campaign account so that you will receive your donation back by the end of the year,” Jetta told supporters. “While I don’t regret taking a run at this office, I am very disappointed that it will end like this, and I’m sorry to disappoint you, as well. Going forward, I will be dedicating my public service efforts to organizations that are addressing the opioid epidemic, the issue that propelled me into this campaign in the first place.”
Republican congressional candidate Kurt Jetta is making the opioid crisis a centerpiece of his campaign for the Palm Beach County-based U.S. House seat of Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach.
In the first digital ad of his campaign, Jetta says the Democratic incumbent isn’t making the opioid problem enough of a priority. The ad is aimed at Facebook and Google accounts within Frankel’s District 21.
“Lois Frankel has failed to lead on the opioid crisis — both in Palm Beach County and nationally. Look at her website — the top 13 issues that she’s laid out, the opioid crisis doesn’t make the list. On my list, it’s the number one issue for Palm Beach County,” Jetta says in the new ad.
“We have polling that makes it clear the opioids are the number one issue in our district,” said Jetta consultant Jacob Perry.
Delray Beach resident Jetta opened a campaign last month. He’s founder and CEO of of TABS Analytics, a Connecticut-based data firm that advises companies who sell consumer packaged goods. Frankel, serving her third term in Congress, is a former West Palm Beach mayor and state House member.
The four members of Palm Beach County’s U.S. House delegation began October with a combined $2.4 million to spend on their 2018 re-election campaigns, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed over the weekend.