Jolly narrowly defeats Sink for Florida congressional seat

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March 12, 2014


By Jennifer Springer

Tampa Bay, Florida: David Jolly (R) narrowly defeated former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D) in the special election for the 13th District yesterday.[1] Jolly won by approximately two percent of the total vote, or 3,417 votes, according to unofficial results.[1] Sink conceded an hour after polls closed.[2] The special election was held to fill the vacancy left by the death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R).[3]

Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby and write-in candidate Michael Levinson also filed and ran in the general special election.[4]

On October 9, 2013, Young announced that he would retire at the end of his term in 2014.[5] 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.[5] On October 17, 2013, Young's family released a statement announcing that he was "gravely ill."[6] "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.[6] Young died on October 18, 2013, following complications resulting from a chronic injury.[7] At the time of his death, Young was the longest serving House Republican.[8][9]

Sink spent three times more than Jolly on television advertising.[10] However, as of February 2014, a total of seven outside groups spent more than six figures on television advertising.[11] An estimated $12.5 million was spent in the election, with less than one-third coming from the candidates' own campaigns.[12]

The special election was 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] Jolly will run for re-election for a full term in November.

U.S. House, Florida District 13 General Special Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Jolly 48.5% 88,294
     Democratic Alex Sink 46.6% 84,877
     Libertarian Lucas Overby 4.8% 8,799
Total Votes 181,970
Source: Unoffocial Results via Associated Press

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