Democrat Alex Sink announced Tuesday she will not run against Republican Congressman David Jolly in November for the 13th Congressional district seat in the U.S. House. Sink, a retired banker and former one-term Florida’s former Chief Financial Officer, lost a special election to Jolly in March for the remainder of the term of former Congressman Bill Young, who died in office in October.
The March election was a close one, with Jolly taking the seat by a little less than two points, about the margin of registered Republican voters in the district over Democrats. Most in the politics industry thought Sink would run again. Her late departure from the race makes it difficult for Democrats to come up with a strong candidate to oppose Jolly, who is a capable campaigner with views that are compatible with the congressional district, which includes the city of Clearwater and most of St. Petersburg.
Candidates must file for the race by May 2. The only other Democrat to express interest in running for the seat is the Rev. Manuel Sykes of St. Petersburg. Sykes is pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church and president of the St. Petersburg chapter of the NAACP.