Jolly and Sink face off in Florida special election

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March 10, 2014


By Jennifer Springer

Tampa Bay, Florida: Republican nominee David Jolly will take on former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D) in the special election for the 13th District tomorrow. Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby and write-in candidate Michael Levinson will also appear on the ballot.[1] The special election is being held to fill the vacancy left by the death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R).[2] All polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.[3]

On October 9, 2013, Young announced that he would retire at the end of his term in 2014.[4] He cited several factors as to why he chose not to run for re-election, including his health and his desire to spend more time with his family.[4] On October 17, 2013, Young's family released a statement announcing that he was "gravely ill."[5] "U.S. Rep. C. W. Bill Young's condition turned for the worse over night and he is gravely ill. His doctors say his prognosis is guarded," the family said.[5] Young died on October 18, 2013, following complications resulting from a chronic injury.[6] At the time of his death, Young was the longest serving House Republican.[7][8]

Under Florida law, Governor Rick Scott (R) had no authority to appoint a replacement, but called a special election to fill Young's seat.[9][10]

Jolly defeated challengers Mark Binder and state Rep. Kathleen Peters in the January primary election. He won with almost 45 percent of the total votes.[11]

As of February 2014, a total of seven outside groups have spent more than six figures on television advertising.[12] An estimated $12.5 million was spent in the election, with less than one-third coming from the candidates' own campaigns.[13]

The top Republican spenders included the National Republican Congressional Committee with a $1.3 million spending total, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at $800,000, American Crossroads at approximately $350,000 and American Action Network with $439,000.[14][15][12]

The top Democratic spenders included the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee with a $886,000 spending tab, the League of Conservation Voters at about $346,000 and House Majority PAC with $495,000.[12][15][14]

The special election is expected to cost just over $1 million-- $458,668 for the Republican primary and $604,021 for the general election.[16] The cost would have been higher had a Democratic primary been necessary.[16] The winner will face re-election for a full term in November.

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External links


  1. Florida Secretary of State Elections, "Candidate List," accessed March 9, 2014
  2. Washington Post, "David Jolly wins GOP nomination in Florida special election," accessed January 14, 2014
  3. Florida Secretary of State, "Frequently Asked Questions - Voting - What Times," accessed January 3, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tampa Bay Times, "U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young to retire, won't seek re-election in 2014," accessed October 9, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 Washington Post, "Rep. Bill Young is ‘gravely ill’," accessed October 17, 2013
  6., "Rep. Bill Young, longest-serving GOP member in House, dies at age 82," accessed October 18, 2013
  7. Politico, "Bill Young, longest-serving House Republican, dies," accessed October 18, 2013
  8. Tampa Bay Times, "U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young's death leaves political void," accessed October 21, 2013
  9., "Rep. Bill Young, longest serving Republican in U.S. Congress, dead at 82," accessed October 24, 2013
  10. Tampa Bay Times, "With Rep. C.W. Bill Young's death, Pinellas a bellwether for 2014," accessed October 24, 2013
  11. Associated Press, "January 14 Election Results," accessed January 14, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Washington Post, "In Florida special election, $8 million in television ads," accessed February 27, 2014
  13. Huffington Post, "Outside Groups Dominate Spending In Florida Special Election," accessed March 9, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 Open Secrets, "Outside Spending," accessed February 19, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 The Washington Post, "Outside spending tops $4 million in Florida special election," accessed February 19, 2014
  16. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named tbw