After a hard-won victory during a March special election to get the interim position in the U.S. House of Representatives for Pinellas County’s District 13, David Jolly finds himself challenged by a Libertarian and one write-in candidate in the upcoming Nov. 4 election.
Florida’s Democratic Party made the news May 2 when the qualifying period for congressional candidates ended with only a Republican, a Libertarian, a no party affiliation and a write-in candidate in the running for District 13.
The lack of a Democrat was the subject of much speculation. Democrat Alex Sink, who challenged Jolly in the March 13 special election, announced April 15 that she would not run.
Florida Democrats released a statement May 2 saying they were backing NPA candidate Ed Jany, a registered Democrat, of Tampa. However, Jany announced May 13 that he was leaving the race, citing a previous work commitment.
“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,” Jany said in a statement. “I wrongly assumed that I could maintain my professional work requirements while running for office, just as I was able to work full-time as a police officer while pursuing a full-time education and balancing my military service in the past.”
Many political experts now say that Jolly is the sure winner, meaning the Republicans will keep the District 13 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Former Rep. C.W. Bill Young served from 1971 to 2013 and was the longest-serving Republican member of Congress when he died Oct. 18, 2013.
Libertarian Lucas Overby of Clearwater, who also ran against Jolly March 13, announced April 21 that he was bowing out of the race. On May 2, Overby announced he was back in.
“After much deliberation and a number of careful consultations with my family, campaign team and community, I have decided to renew by candidacy for the 13th Congressional District seat,” Overby said in a press release. “Pinellas County deserves real choices on the ballot in November, by running for this office, I can serve my community by helping to ensure a real dialogue and discussion on the issues facing us.”
Because Jolly and Overby are running unopposed, there will be no primary election in August for District 13. Michael S. Levinson of St. Petersburg is the write-in candidate. His name will not appear on the ballot.
Jolly received 48.43 percent of the vote in the March 13 special election. Sink took in 46.56 percent. Overby received 4.83 percent and Levinson received less than 1 percent.