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Republican candidates head to special primary in Florida

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January 13, 2014


By Jennifer Springer

Tampa Bay, Florida: Three Republican candidates-- Mark Bircher, David Jolly and Kathleen Peters-- will face off for the nomination in the Republican special primary election tomorrow.[1] The special election will be held to fill the vacancy left by the death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R). Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.[2] Florida is split between Eastern and Central time zones.

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]

Florida is one of 12 states to use a strictly closed primary process, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.[8][9][10]

Under Florida law, Governor Rick Scott (R) had no authority to appoint a replacement, but called a special election to fill Young's seat.[11][12]

C.W. Bill Young's widow, Beverly Young, endorsed David Jolly at his campaign kickoff event on November 7, 2013, and announced that her late husband asked Jolly to run for his seat.[13]

Mark Bircher received an endorsement from former Rep. Allen West. Kathleen Peters was endorsed by one of Young’s sons, Bill Young II.[14].[14][15]

The winner of the Republican special primary election will face Alex Sink (D), Lucas Overby (L) and write-in candidate Michael Levinson in the special general election on March 11, 2014.[1]

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

See also

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External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tampa Bay Weekly, "Three candidates running in Republican primary," accessed January 12, 2014
  2. Florida Secretary of State, "Frequently Asked Questions - Voting - What Times," accessed January 3, 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., "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. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  9. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  10. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  11., "Rep. Bill Young, longest serving Republican in U.S. Congress, dead at 82," accessed October 24, 2013
  12. Tampa Bay Times, "With Rep. C.W. Bill Young's death, Pinellas a bellwether for 2014," accessed October 24, 2013
  13. The Hill, "Bill Young's widow says Young asked Jolly to run," accessed November 11, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 Human Events, "Florida-13 special GOP primary tight; Jolly holds slight lead in 3-way race to replace Young," accessed January 12, 2014
  15. Saint Peters Blog, "Final poll of GOP primary in CD 13 shows David Jolly well ahead; Kathleen Peters slips to third," accessed January 12, 2014