David Jolly was the clear winner of the Jan. 14 special Republican primary and moves one-step closer to having a new job in Washington D.C.
Jolly will face Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian Party of Florida candidate Lucas Overby in the March 11 election for the District 13 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
According to unofficial results posted on the Supervisor of Elections website, votepinellas.com, with 225 of 225 precincts reporting, Jolly received 45 percent of the vote, followed by Kathleen Peters with 31 percent and Mark Bircher came in third with 24 percent.
The vote count included only partial mail ballots and no provisional ballots.
Approximately 27 percent of 170,037 Republicans eligible to vote in the closed election cast their ballots by mail, early voting and the polls. As of Jan. 13, 33,297, or 42.4 percent of 78,556 mail ballots distributed had been returned and another 365 had taken advantage of early voting.
A new state law will delay certification of the results until 10 days after the election to allow counting of overseas ballots. The ballots must be postmarked or dated no later than the date of the election and received no later than 10 days after the election.
Clark said the rule had previously been applied to federal elections, but beginning with the Jan. 14 primary would be in effect for all elections. Deadline to certify election results is noon 12 days after an election.
Pinellas County Commissioners unanimously approved a budget amendment Jan. 14 of $1,062,690 to cover the estimated cost of the primary and the March 11 general election.
Gov. Rick Scott ordered the special election after longtime Congressman C.W. ďBillĒ Young died Oct. 18. Young served as District 13ís Representative in Congress for 42 years. District 13 encompasses the majority of Pinellas County with the exception of precincts north of Dunedin and some in south St. Petersburg.