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Republicans held a registration edge in the district, but it was a small one--less than 3 percent.[1]

Incumbent David Jolly (R) defeated former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D) to win the special election for Florida's 13th District on March 11, 2014.[2][3]

Ed Jany ran for a brief time as an Independent candidate with no political affiliation, despite being recruited and having the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.[4][5] He previously was a Republican, but switched to the Democratic Party out of frustration with the 2013 federal government shutdown. In order to comply with a Florida election law, he was then forced to run as an Independent candidate.[4] Florida law states that candidates cannot run for a party's nomination unless they have been registered in the party for at least one year.[4] He ended his campaign on May 13, 2014.[6] In a statement, Jany said an inability to balance the campaign with his professional demands was the reason for ending his campaign.[7]

“It is with deep regret that I announce my withdrawal from the race for U.S. Representative in the Thirteenth District. In my professional capacity, I am responsible for coordinating some of the Command and Control for Security at the World Cup in Brazil this year, something I committed to doing some time ago. I wrongly assumed that I could maintain my professional work requirements while running for office."[7]

David Jolly defeated Lucas Overby (L) in the general election. The race was rated a "Safe Republican" contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.[8]

Voicemail from chairman

Despite initially announcing plans to run, Democratic candidate Manuel Sykes announced on April 30, 2014, that he would not run in 2014. The announcement came after Pinellas County's Democratic chairman Mark Hanisee left a voicemail for Sykes that said he would not have the support from two key Democrats-- former congressional candidate Alex Sink and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman-- if he chose to run.[9]

"Neither one of them are endorsing you, nor is the (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee). They have another candidate. You better hold off, or, like I told you Sunday night, you are going to be persona non grata. Take that to the bank. That's telling you the gospel truth. You're going to be getting a call from Rick Kriseman, if you haven't already, telling you to back off. Have a nice weekend," Hanisee said in the voicemail.[9]

Apology from chairman

Pinellas Democratic Chairman Mark Hanisee said in a written statement on May 9, 2014, "I sincerely regret" leaving a bluntly worded voice mail for Manuel Sykes who was considering running for Congress, and acknowledged it was "disrespectful" for him to do so.[10]

Alex Sink

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel called Alex Sink (D) in March 2014, following the March 11, 2014, special election, to discuss plans to run again in November 2014 after losing to David Jolly (R).[11]

“I believe if Alex Sink decides to run, she will win in November. We will do everything — and I mean everything — to support her in that endeavor...I did call her last night and left a message. My message was, I think she ran a great race and if this election were in November versus March, I believe she would have won, and I encouraged her to speak with us about continuing this campaign to victory in November...I have not heard back from her...This is just the day after the special, so we haven’t started thinking about who else may be viable. I am hopeful that Alex and I can talk soon,” Israel said.[11]

Sink said in a statement on April 15, 2014, that she made a “personal decision” not to run in 2014.[9][12]

In her statement Sink said, “I look forward to finding new, rewarding avenues where I can continue to effectively serve the people of Florida. I remain totally convinced that a Democrat can and will win this congressional seat in the fall, and I look forward to helping the Democratic nominee.”[9]

C.W. Bill Young

In April 2013, campaign fundraising figures caused some to speculate whether Young planned to retire, rather than seek re-election in 2014.[13][1] In the first set of campaign finance reports, Young reported raising $58,000 and had $209,000 on hand.[13] Young then announced on October 9, 2013, that when his term ended in 2014 he planned retire.[14] He cited several factors why he chose not to run for re-election, including his health and his desire to spend more time with his family.[14]

Young died on October 18, 2013, following complications resulting from a chronic injury.[15] At the time of his death, Young was the longest serving House Republican.[16][1]
  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named competitive
  2. Associated Press, "January 14 Election Results," accessed January 14, 2014
  3. Associated Press, "U.S. House - District 13 - General," accessed May 5, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Tampa Bay Times, "'Democrat' and Libertarian file to run against Jolly in Pinellas congressional race," accessed May 5, 2014
  5. Roll Call, "House Democrats Boost David Jolly Challenger," accessed May 6, 2014
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named endcamp
  7. 7.0 7.1 Washington Post, "Democrat Jany ends campaign against David Jolly less than two weeks after launching bid," accessed May 14, 2014
  8. Roll Call, "Rating Change: Florida’s 13th District," accessed August 12, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 USA Today, "Alex Sink decides against Florida rematch for Congress," accessed April 15, 2014
  10. Tampa Bay Times, "Pinellas Democratic chairman regrets "disrespectful" voice mail," accessed May 12, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Roll Call, "Steve Israel Lobbies Alex Sink to Run in the Fall," accessed March 13, 2014
  12. Tampa Bay Times, "Alex Sink won't challenge David Jolly for District 13 seat in November," accessed April 15, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 Roll Call "House Retirement Watch Clues Found in First Fundraising Reports" accessed April 19, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 Tampa Bay Times, "U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young to retire, won't seek re-election in 2014," accessed October 9, 2013
  15. CNN.com, "Rep. Bill Young, longest-serving GOP member in House, dies at age 82", accessed October 18, 2013
  16. Politico, "Bill Young, longest-serving House Republican, dies", accessed October 18, 2013