All eyes were glued to the special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District last month when Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly vied for the right to represent their constituents in the US House. Jolly was deemed a less-than-optimal candidate, of course, but still managed to squeeze out a victory. The Democratic spinsters predictably tried to explain away the loss, but the implications were clear and raised an important question: if Democrats can’t win a district President Obama won twice with a well-known candidate (who, by the way, almost won the governorship in 2010), what does that say about Democrats’ electoral prospects in 2014?
Well, the DCCC took another hit today when Mrs. Sink -- Democrats’ best (and perhaps only) hope to unseat Rep. Jolly this fall -- announced she’s decided not to challenge him (via the Tampa Bay Times):
Democrat Alex Sink has decided not to run for Congress again this year, meaning there will not be a rematch of the nationally watched and extraordinarily costly campaign that Sink lost in Pinellas County a little over a month ago by less than 2 percentage points.
“I am so honored and humbled by the outpouring of support our campaign received, but after reflection with my family I have made a personal decision not to run for the 13th Congressional District seat in the 2014 election,” Sink said in a statement. “I want to thank every voter, volunteer and donor for their support – we can all be proud of the strong campaign we ran. I look forward to finding new, rewarding avenues where I can continue to effectively serve the people of Florida. In the words of Bill, I look forward to continuing to do good. I remain totally convinced that a Democrat can and will win this congressional seat in the fall, and I look forward to helping the Democratic nominee.”
Can Democrats kiss this seat goodbye? Maybe not. But it’s clear Sink’s decision will make it easier for Jolly to keep his seat, and make it that much harder for Democrats to win back the House -- which, incidentally, isn’t likely to happen anyway.