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Jolly defeats challengers for nomination in Florida

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January 15, 2014


By Jennifer Springer

Tampa Bay, Florida: Republican David Jolly defeated challengers Mark Binder and state Rep. Kathleen Peters in a race that was called in his favor less than an hour after polls closed yesterday. He won with almost 45 percent of the total votes, according to unofficial election results.[1] The special election is being held to fill the vacancy left by the death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R).[2]

On October 9, 2013, Young announced that he would retire at the end of his term in 2014.[3] 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.[3] On October 17, 2013, Young's family released a statement announcing that he was "gravely ill."[4] "U.S. Rep. C. W. Bill Young's condition turned for the worse over night and he is gravely ill," the family said. "His doctors say his prognosis is guarded."[4] Young died on October 18, 2013, following complications resulting from a chronic injury.[5] At the time of his death, Young was the longest serving House Republican.[6][7]

Under Florida law, Governor Rick Scott (R) had no authority to appoint a replacement, but called a special election to fill Young's seat.[8][9]

C.W. Bill Young's widow, Beverly Young, endorsed David Jolly at his campaign kickoff event on November 7, 2013. She announced that her late husband asked Jolly to run for his seat.[10][11][12]

Jolly will face Alex Sink (D), Lucas Overby (L) and write-in candidate Michael Levinson in the special general election on March 11, 2014.[13] Sink is viewed as a formidable challenger, having raised around $1.1 million since joining the race in October 2013. She has already gained the backing of several top Democratic groups, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List.[14][15] During the same time period, Jolly reported $388,000 raised. Jolly has received notable contributions from Wayne Berman, a Republican lobbyist, and retired game show host Bob Barker.[16]

The special election is expected to cost just over $1 million-- $458,668 for the Republican primary and $604,021 for the general election.[13] The cost would have been higher had a Democratic primary been necessary.[13]

U.S. House, Florida District 13 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Jolly 44.6% 20,337
Kathleen Peters 31% 14,120
Mark Bircher 24.5% 11,158
Total Votes 45,615
Source: Unofficial results via Associated Press[17]

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External links


  1. Associated Press, "January 14 Election Results," accessed January 14, 2014
  2. Washington Post, "David Jolly wins GOP nomination in Florida special election," accessed January 14, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tampa Bay Times, "U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young to retire, won't seek re-election in 2014," accessed October 9, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 Washington Post, "Rep. Bill Young is ‘gravely ill’," accessed October 17, 2013
  5. CNN.com, "Rep. Bill Young, longest-serving GOP member in House, dies at age 82," accessed October 18, 2013
  6. Politico, "Bill Young, longest-serving House Republican, dies," accessed October 18, 2013
  7. Tampa Bay Times, "U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young's death leaves political void," accessed October 21, 2013
  8. Reuters.com, "Rep. Bill Young, longest serving Republican in U.S. Congress, dead at 82," accessed October 24, 2013
  9. Tampa Bay Times, "With Rep. C.W. Bill Young's death, Pinellas a bellwether for 2014," accessed October 24, 2013
  10. The Hill, "Bill Young's widow says Young asked Jolly to run," accessed November 11, 2013
  11. The Hill, "Drama roils race to replace Rep. Bill Young," accessed January 13, 2014
  12. Politico, "Kathleen Peters splits Bill Young family," accessed January 14, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Tampa Bay Weekly, "Three candidates running in Republican primary," accessed January 12, 2014
  14. Politico, "David Jolly wins GOP primary in Florida," accessed January 14, 2014
  15. Politico, "Fla.’s Alex Sink dominating cash race vs. GOP," accessed January 6, 2014
  16. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named donorsoct
  17. Associated Press, "U.S. House Florida January 14 election," accessed January 14, 2014