FL District 13: Jolly wins, Sink sinks, now what?

There was a special election for the Congressional District 13 seat in Florida. District 13 encompases Pinellas County. David Jolly defeated Democrat challenger Alex Sink, a former state Chief Financial Officer, by 3,500 votes or a 1.87 percent margin – 48.43 percent to 46.56 percent, according to the unofficial results from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby won 4.83 percent of the votes. Democrats hold a 1.0 percent edge in voter registration in District 13.

After every special election there is speculation about the implications for the next general election. Here are some interesting, and perhaps useful, quotes sent to me from Floridians, politicians and political prognosticators about the Republican win.

Reuters, “You can see the handprints of the national parties all over the race,” said Susan MacManus, a longtime political analyst and professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa. “It almost seems as if the 2012 presidential race never ended, and just the faces and the district changed.”

Peter Rice, Sarasota, FL. “It was assumed that Democrat Alex Sink would win this election, for she won this district in her 2010 run for FL governor (she lost by a very tiny bit).  Previously she was the Democrat elected chief financial officer of Florida.  She was a banker.  Her late husband (Bill McBride) was the Democrat candidate for governor in 2002, but lost closely to Jeb Bush.  Also, Sink being a female would have benefited from the majority of voters in Florida (and I assume FL-13) being females, many of whom vote for the female candidate by perhaps 5%.  This election is an ill sign for Obama et al. on 4 November 2014, the general election.  The voters of FL-13 sent a message to our Dear Leader, a message of NO.”

Washington Times, “Before the votes were tallied, Ana Navarro, a Republican Party strategist from Florida, warned against putting too much stock in the results. “The national implications of the results of this race in Florida have grown out of proportion,” Ms. Navarro said. “The spending by both parties turned into a game of chicken, and next thing they knew, they had spent over $10 million on a seat that has to go up for election again in eight months. “Yes, the national narrative on Obamacare and other policy issues matter,” she said. “And yes, the national spending has played a big role. But the old adage remains true: All politics is local. A lot is decided by the quality of the candidates and the campaigns they run. I think it will tell you more about that than anything else.”

The Examiner, “After Tuesday’s special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, DNC boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz spun the Republican win in true Orwellian fashion by claiming the GOP ‘underperformed’.”

The only November 2014 statewide race in Florida is for Governor. I agree with Ms. Navarro that all politics is local, the quality of the candidate and how they run their campaign are key factors. Governor Rick Scott is running on his record of job creation and an improved economy. Scott, like Jolly, has taken strong stands against Obama and his policies that hurt all Floridians.

I believe the District 13 race will have more of an impact on the race for the Governor’s mansion.

Sink’s loss does not bode well for Democrat candidate Charlie Crist, who, unlike Sink, fully embraces Obamacare as it is written. The Tampa Bay law firm Morgan & Morgan supported Sink and they also support Crist who is a partner in the firm. One issue not dealt with in District 13 was the medical marijuana ballot initiative. Democrats hope voters will turn out to vote on legalizing medical marijuana, an initiative funded by Morgan & Morgan. There are other statewide issues that will take center stage including: Common Core, property insurance and severe defense cuts. All these work against Democrats as they are Obama initiatives.

So, now what? Stay tuned, it will be a rough ride to Tuesday, November 4th in Florida.


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