Republicans keep House seat in Florida special election
March 11th, 2014
07:53 PM ET
9 years ago

Republicans keep House seat in Florida special election

(CNN) - Republican David Jolly won Tuesday's special election in Florida's 13th Congressional District.

He will fill out the term of his former boss, longtime Republican Rep. Bill Young, who died in October.

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Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink, who conceded the race more than an hour after the polls closed.

The outcome does not change anything for Democrats in their calculus for retaking the House in next November's midterms. They still need to pick up 17 seats.

Political handicappers consider that a tall order, considering the shrinking number of competitive congressional districts nationwide.

Jolly served as a former general counsel for Young and also worked as a lobbyist.

"Tonight brings an end to this election," a victorious Jolly told supporters. "Tomorrow provides the opportunity for us to embark together on a new journey of representation here in Pinellas County."

Sink, the former Florida Chief Financial Officer, narrowly lost the 2010 gubernatorial election to Rick Scott.

She conceded the contest more than an hour after the polls closed, expressing pride in her campaign and thanking volunteers and supporters.

"I have congratulated David Jolly and wish him the best success in representing the voices of Pinellas in Congress," she said.

Florida-13 is a swing district in a swing state. It covers most of Pinellas County between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, including parts of St. Petersburg.

While Young captured 58% of the vote in his 2012 re-election, President Barack Obama narrowly carried the district in his 2008 and 2012 victories.

The district has one of highest concentration of senior voters in the nation.

While the candidates and local matters weighed heavily in the race, Obamacare was also a key issue in the election.

While a contest this far out from the midterms rarely offers a preview of what will actually happen in November, the election was seen by some pundits as a potential bellwether.

There was a massive infusion of outside ad money into the race to try to influence the outcome.

Dueling congressional campaign committees fired off reaction after the results came in with their versions of what Jolly's win means for the midterms.

The National Republican Congressional Committee said the results are referendum on the effects of the Democratic agenda and Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans are campaigning fiercely against.

"Tonight, one of Nancy Pelosi's most prized candidates was ultimately brought down because of her unwavering support for Obamacare, and that should be a loud warning for other Democrats running coast to coast," said NRCC chairman Greg Walden.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee congratulated Sink's campaign, highlighting her efforts in a historically Republican district and pushed back on the results as a bellwether for the midterm elections.

"Democrats will fight for FL-13 in the midterm when the electorate is far less heavily tilted toward Republicans. Despite those millions from Republican outside groups, they underperformed because the only message they offered voters – repealing the ACA – is out of touch and failed to bring them even close to their historically wide margins," said the group's chairman, Rep. Steve Israel.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Filed under: Alex Sink • Florida
soundoff (381 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair


    @ Fair: "Only when I'm being channenged indirectly, Lynda."

    By attacking someone's place of business and what they do for a living, Fair? Shouldn't that be considered heading into spiteful territory?
    And by the way, you're engaging in the exact behavior I'm railing against. She's a big girl, let her fight her own fights.

    March 12, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Fair is Fair

    Tell you what. Pick a topic. Any topic. Debate me. No? Coward
    No. I will tell YOU what: I leave debating up to the TRUE debaters on this thread.
    People like Sniffit, Rudy NYC, The Real Tom Paine, rs, Mallory Archer et al. Folks that have the poltical background to carry a truthful conversation on this thread based on facts.
    I recognize that I come up very short to these types of people Fair, you should too.
    I have sat back and seen them mop the floor with you on a regular basis because your type of debate is based on suppositons, fallacies, and false equivalents with just enough truth to confuse the issue, and name calling if nothing else works.
    So no.
    I will continue to do what I do best with you: call you out with the truth whenever and wherever I can.
    Folks like you left unchecked can be dangerous if allowed to spread their fallacies, half-truths, and yes, self-created melodramatic nontroversies.
    I've said it before and I will say it again: Democrats (independents, liberals, moderates etc) should make it a habit to deal with so-called conservatives in government the way we deal with people like you on this site. It would certainly cutback on a lot of crap, fear, and misinformation amongst the general poplulace.
    Oh, and OUCH! (not) on the name-calling.

    March 12, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Tony D

    Fair is Fair
    So Counselor- are you denying that Medicare & Medicaid reimbursement rates are below that which private insurers are expected to pay? If so, why... and if not, do you deny cost shifting is prevalent?

    It isn't cost shifting. It is government price controls. Government dictating to private entities what it will pay, even if it is less that the cost of the service. Fixing prices of products and services is illegal in the private sector but the government makes the laws so it can do whatever it wants.

    Once they control enough of the healthcare market, which is what Obamacare is really about, they can bring down the healthcare insurance companies, hospitals, etc entirely. And then there will be no other alternative that a complete government takeover of the healthcare industry, just like they did with the car companies. Only this time they will keep it and call it single payer healthcare. The Liberal Holy Grail.

    March 12, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "7. Sink supported and ran on Obamacare."

    And lost by only 1.9% in a historically conservative district that has seen the GOP candidate win by 18%, 37% and 15% in the past 3 elections. Yeah, your triumphal march across the pages of the ACA is somewhat marred by the reality that 1.9% is very close, shows a huge improvement for Dems and doesn't at all support your attempt to characterize this as evidence that "blah blah we the people yada yada sick of Obama herpa derp."

    "do you deny cost shifting is prevalent?"

    Not at all. But if, as you posit (setting aside the studies that show it's not true), there will be a gross reduction in the number of doctors accepting Medicare patients, resulting in a lot less Medicare patients actually having access to and receiving the medical services they need, then there will be a lot less doctors creating need for cost shifting, eh? It works the opposite of what you're saying. You can't have it both ways.

    March 12, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Cherry picker? Didn't I post 100% of your original text? I've lost track of it for the moment. I'm pretty sure I did.

    You did... but didn't include the original poster's text to which I responded, thus losing all context. Typical for you.
    Since when has posting 100% of your text been called cherry picking? The rest was irrelevant. Since when do I even need to post !00% of your post in a "FIFY" post, anyway? Beware of winter storm, my friend. I'm punching out of here soon.

    March 12, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. kurt

    "Yea, obviously. Your style is unmistaken. So Counselor- are you denying that Medicare & Medicaid reimbursement rates are below that which private insurers are expected to pay? If so, why... and if not, do you deny cost shifting is prevalent?"

    As I've said before, they are not lower in most cases.

    My wife is a provider for both medicaid and medicare (in SC, not FL). While the medicare rates dropped, they are still higher then the majority of the private insurers. This is mental health services... I can't speak with any real knowledge about others. Also, since much of medicaid is determined by the state (as opposed to medicare which is national)

    What sucks (for providers) about the government programs is the paperwork. Medicare and medicaid are VERY picky that you have things documented properly. Issues with fraud have caused them to become extremely strict. Because of this, those who don't properly submit their notes will not get reimbursed. This is why many providers claim they don't pay well. They pay VERY well, but you can't be slack and still get paid.

    My wife has been submitting medicaid and medicare billing for the last decade. She gets 2-3 kickbacks a year because she knows how to properly document and have her claims submitted properly. Her average reimbursement rate is highest for medicaid... and medicare is in her top 3.

    Now Tricare... their rates suck.

    March 12, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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