Alex Sink Facing Watered-Down GOP Opposition for Open Congress Seat

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: November 8, 2013 3:55 AM
Will Weatherford, Jack Latvala, Rick Baker

Will Weatherford, Jack Latvala, Rick Baker

Even as Alex Sink faces an easier path to the Democratic nomination in a special election for an open seat in Congress, Republicans are helping her cause by staying out of the contest.

Bill Young may have held the seat for 43 years before his death in October but his fellow Republicans aren’t exactly lining up to run for it now. On Thursday, Frank Hibbard, the former mayor of Clearwater, said he was not running for the Republican nomination for the seat. Hibbard joins several other big-name Republicans like Jeff Brandes, Rick Baker, and Jack Latvala by staying out of the contest. It’s also increasingly looking that members of Young’s family will remain on the sidelines.

While other Republicans have until Nov. 19 to get in the race, it’s increasingly looking like David Jolly, a former Young aide and a lobbyist with ties to the Beltway, will be the Republican nominee. Jolly has the blessing of Young’s widow but he remains largely unknown in the Pinellas County district.

Sink doesn’t have that problem. She might live out of the district but she’s pretty well-known in the Tampa Bay region from her days in banking. Sink of course also did well in the district when she successfully ran for state CFO in 2006 and her unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in 2010.

As of now, Jolly and Sink should have few problems getting their party’s nominations. Sink chased off Jessica Ehrlich out of the Democratic field, and other possible candidates like Charlie Justice and Janet Long have stayed out. Jolly’s path is a little tougher with Nick Zoller staying in the primary. Still, Jolly’s chances for the nomination are improving by the day as the GOP starts to rally behind him.

But unless Jolly is able to defy expectations and beat Sink, Republicans could be placing themselves in a bad situation, especially with the gubernatorial race and state House contests looming on the horizon.

Democrats are claiming momentum in Florida, especially the Tampa Bay area, after two recent elections. Amanda Young picked up a Pasco County House seat for Democrats in a special election. Democrat Rick Kriseman defeated sitting Republican Bill Foster on Tuesday to become the next mayor of St. Petersburg.

If Sink blows out Jolly or whoever the Republicans nominate, Democrats across Florida will be crowing about their momentum. This is not exactly what Rick Scott wants to hear as he enters a tough battle for a second term. With big-name candidates staying out against Sink and in the race to challenge Patrick Murphy, Republican congressional recruitment in Florida, with the big exception of Carlos Curbelo against Joe Garcia, isn’t exactly impressive so far in the 2014 elections.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis piece exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (14)

10:40PM NOV 8TH 2013
this henderson piece is nothing but republican whining about the fact that people are rejecting the likes of rick scott, weatherford, geatz and the shameful special interest corruption they have wrought on the citizens of our state.
8:44PM NOV 8TH 2013
Hey, I think we can all agree what Congress needs is a bought and paid for agent of big banks and they have one in Alex Sink. When she wins she will gladly pay them off again.

Bones don't lie.
8:09AM NOV 9TH 2013
Witchdoctor hit home with report of Alex Sink, former President of Bank of America, FL.

Frank eat bone because Alex has a (D). Wall Street drools because they don't have to even buy her vote.

Bones don't lie.
10:42PM NOV 8TH 2013
and the one's there already aren't bought and paid for with special interest money ? don't be so naive !!
8:50PM NOV 8TH 2013
But apparently, racist derived pseudonyms do . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
8:13AM NOV 9TH 2013
When Frank scared of truth, he cry racism. Rest of world call "cancelled policy".

Witchdoctor not cancel medical practice. Practice growing as doctors quit medicine.

Come visit witchdoctor. He cure racism and remove head from posterior.

Bones don't lie.
9:12AM NOV 9TH 2013
Yes, educated too, I see . . . . this demonizing pseudonym is just racist, embarrassing and . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
9:17AM NOV 9TH 2013
Witchdoctor put his bones in Frank's racist head. Witchdoctor invite Frank to next gathering so Frank can expunge his racism.

Frank invited to after-party because Witchdoctor know which women get birth control paid for by someone else. Obamacare good for Franks racism bones.

Bones don't lie
10:16AM NOV 10TH 2013
Sad . . . just sad that someone stoops so low . . . another SSN fan club clone posing now as a racist stereotype . . . . about par for the far-right mentality apparently . . . . label it . . . .

Pathetic . . .
5:24PM NOV 10TH 2013
Witchdoctor can cure Franks racism with bone hug. Frank not happy with Alex "Big Bank Bone" Sink as candidate and must call racism. Witchdoctor know Frank real racist and feel sad no one give Frank the bone of help.

Bones don't lie.
2:50PM NOV 11TH 2013
Sad . . . even Tea Party leaders have distanced themselves from the racist, demonizing Witchdoctor imagery . . . perhaps it's just your feelings of inadequacy with a bi-racial black man having more political power in this country than any single white citizen . . . . . . . or perhaps like Mona Charen recently, and Michael Barone during the 2012 campaign, you feel your white culture is being increasingly threatened by a minority majority America . . .

Whatever the source of your racism, it's counter-productive (didn't you guys learn anything during the 2012 election) . . . . whether it's against blacks, Hispanics, Sikhs, Muslims . . . . . or even a woman . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
8:48PM NOV 8TH 2013
Florida GOP . . . when the tough get going . . . . they . . . well, it appears they stay away . . . . maybe Allen West should enter the race . . . so he can lose again and discuss how the vote was rigged again . . . perhaps it's best to quote a right winger who comments on this site routinely: "Republicans stain their shorts every time the wind blows against them" . . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
John Thomas
4:53PM NOV 8TH 2013
Nick Zoller, per the TB Times, is not running in the special election. He is actively seeking the regularly scheduled August nomination, not the January nomination.
2:29PM NOV 8TH 2013
All the rest of them see a sure loss. Get used to saying Congresswoman Sink. What a disaster.

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