Politics

Alex Sink, GOP Candidates Battle for Position in Pinellas County Special Election

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: December 17, 2013 3:55 AM
Alex Sink and Kathleen Peters

Alex Sink and Kathleen Peters

Republicans and Democrats alike are trying to get the attention of Pinellas County voters before politics gets moved to the backburner for the holidays.

With U.S. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., in Florida to raise money for former state CFO Alex Sink, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is on the attack. Sink is the Democratic candidate in the special election for the congressional seat left open by the death of longtime U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla.

“Alex Sink is proving that she is a career politician who is out of touch with reality,” said Katie Prill, a spokeswoman for the NRCC on Monday morning. “If anyone had any doubt that Alex Sink would be Nancy Pelosi’s lapdog in Congress [they] should understand now that she is a loyal supporter of the Washington Democrat machine and its push to force Obamacare on Pinellas County families.”

Despite facing continued attacks from Republicans, Sink is looking to play up her opposition to flood insurance rate hikes. Over the weekend, Sink launched a petition urging Pinellas County residents to petition Congress to stop the rate hikes.

“This is exactly why I’m running for Congress,” Sink wrote supporters over the weekend. “Earlier this week, some in Congress blocked a measure that would have prevented an extraordinary flood insurance rate hike for Floridians. Once again, the gridlock and dysfunction of Congress are standing in the way of getting results and are taking money out of the pocket of Pinellas families.

“Well, I refuse to sit quietly while some in Congress refuse to act on issues important to you,” Sink added. “Will you join me in calling on Congress to prevent the flood insurance rate spike?

“Why is this issue so important?” Sink continued. “Our Pinellas homeowners have already paid eight times more into the flood insurance system than they have claimed, and without a fix, many people’s rates will suddenly jump to shocking amounts. We’ve got to stop congressional gridlock. Tell Congress to stop the rate spike.”

In the meantime, the various candidates maneuvered for position on Monday, trying to keep in the public eye before voters turn off the elections to focus on the holidays. The Sink campaign claimed momentum on Monday. “In less than two months, we’ve seen this campaign grow from a simple idea into thousands of supporters across Pinellas County and Florida working to get Alex elected to Congress,” the Sink campaign insisted on Monday.

On the Republican side, state Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-St. Petersburg, announced she had won the backing of Dunedin Mayor Dave Eggers

“The leadership that Congressman Bill Young provided Pinellas County is irreplaceable,” Eggers said on Monday. “He meant so much to every aspect of our community. He delivered for Dunedin because he understood our community. That’s why it’s so important that our next representative in Congress be as committed as Bill Young was.

"Our friend Kathleen Peters fits that mold and we are honored to endorse her today,” Eggers said before contrasting Peters to GOP primary rival David Jolly, a lawyer and former Young aide. “Kathleen Peters is one of us. She is a Pinellas insider, not a Washington insider. She served alongside us as a city official when she was mayor of South Pasadena. She has been a friend of Dunedin during her time as a state representative. But even before that, she was a Cub Scout leader, soccer and little league mom, involved with the YMCA, and a volunteer for too many charities to mention."

Jolly has been running ads focusing on his work with veterans and showcasing the endorsement of iconic game-show host Bob Barker. Over the weekend, Jolly was campaigning in Clearwater.

Jolly, Peters and retired Marines Gen. Mark Bircher tangle in the Jan. 14 Republican primary. Whoever wins will take on Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby in the general election on March 11.



Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.


Comments (4)

Alex Snitker
1:14AM DEC 20TH 2013
The people of Pinellas county have a choice. More of the same or truly something different.

This story did not go into the Libertarian candidate but his name is Lucas Overby. He has been campaigning for almost year now. He has many volunteers helping him in this campaign canvassing the neighborhoods. The people who are going to vote in this election will hear from Lucas even if in this article he is an afterthought.

I am one of those volunteers. Let me tell you that the response from the people has been overwhelming in support of Lucas. I say overwhelming because in this election the voter turnout will be at most 25%.

3 out of every 10 voters I have spoken with are willing to vote for Lucas and are willing to vote on election day to do it. If the Libertarians can get the voters to the polls we will not only be competitive but able to win.

But we are going to have to prove it to you. I know that this campaign will do the hard work necessary to win this special election.

If you would like to be a part of a history making campaign and help Lucas Overby the Libertarian Party break the glass ceiling come on out and help us. I know that there will be hundreds of people reading this that believe in libertarian principles. How about helping an actual Libertarian this time in making history and changing the direction of politics. We have never been closer than we are right now.
Better Observer
11:47AM DEC 18TH 2013
The "BIGGERT-WATERS" bill was a bi-partisan bill passed overwhelmingly by both the house, senate, and then signed into law by the President. To infer that this is a political issue is naive, misleading, and down right reckless.

As far as Rep. Peters, I have no love, respect, or even a passing admiration for the woman and believe that she has been and will continue to be bad for the residents of Pinellas County. That being said, I am not sure what Sales Tax she was pushing on the poor. She was responsible for increases in property tax EVERY year she was Mayor. She claims that taxes were decreased by 18%, but doesn't account for the fact that property values dropped by 40% and the legislature raised the homestead exemptions.

Kathleen Peters is bad news, aggressive, dirty, and self serving.
William
3:34PM DEC 17TH 2013
I'm puzzled that 75% of this article makes it feel like this will be a contest between Ms. Sink and Ms. Peters. There was a poll taken about 4 weeks ago that suggests Ms. Peters will not even be in the running. (Sorry, I'm just saying.)
Observer
9:27AM DEC 17TH 2013
Additional Notes:
1. The Democrats in Congress (Bidders-Waters) created the problem in Federal Flood Insurance increases and FEMA that Sink wants to petition, now. How convenient to create a problem that the Socialist can now fix by expanding the plantation.
2. Peters pushed to eliminate driving lanes for Bicycles in S. Pasadena, added Red Light Cameras and pushes for increases in Sales Tax on the poor. Competition to see who can steal the most from the working public. Special Interest Profiteer and puppet for Boss Tweed.

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