It is looking more like a Jolly vs. Sink race for Congress

The race to fill the Congressional seat of the late Bill Young is looking more like a two person race.
The race to fill the Congressional seat of the late Bill Young is looking more like a two person race.

For the second time in as many days another potential candidate to fill  the seat of the late C.W. Bill Young  in Congress has dropped out making it look more like there might be uncontested primaries.  At this point more people are saying no to running than are saying yes.

Today, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri who had previously hinted that he may run in the special election as a Republican changed his mind. In a brief announcement Gualtieri said he had decided against it, because he wanted to be able to spend more time with his 8-year-old daughter.

This comes a little more than 24 hours after Jessica Ehrlich, who had been running as a Democrat, announced she would be suspending her campaign on Wednesday.

So it is looking more and more like the race will come down to Republican lobbyist David Jolly and former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ms. Alex Sink who have both announced they are running for the seat, vacated after Rep. Bill Young death last month.

Many Republicans say that if it were not for Young, a moderate lawmaker and Florida institution who was the longest-serving House Republican at the time of his death, Democrats would have won the seat long ago.

Fred Piccolo, a Republican consultant in the state and former congressional chief of staff told POLITICO this week:

“This is a seat that Democrats should have held for the last 12 years,” said Piccolo. “But they didn’t because of Bill Young.”

Taking place in a swing district at the onset of a midterm election year, the contest is likely to be highly scrutinized and read for clues about what 2014 has in store. Strategists from both parties expect an avalanche of cash to be spent and for the race to become a testing ground for national party messages.

That means St. Petersburg-area voters are likely to hear a lot from Democrats about the dangers of tea party conservatives, and from Republicans about the dangers of Obamacare and the president’s agenda.

Sounds like another fun election coming to the area very soon.

The primary is scheduled for January 14, with the general election on March 11.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.