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Democrat Sykes to run for Pinellas congressional seat

By Curtis Krueger, Times Staff Writer
Published: April 22, 2014 Updated: April 22, 2014 at 03:32 AM
The Rev. Manuel Sykes, a Democrat, plans to enter Pinellas’ District 13 race.

The Rev. Manuel Sykes, of St. Petersburg's Bethel Community Baptist Church, said he plans to run for Congress.

"My concern has been about serving people, and I think that's what's needed in Congress," he said Monday.

Sykes, a Democrat, intends to run in Pinellas County's District 13, which stretches from south Pinellas to Dunedin, with portions of southern and downtown St. Petersburg cut out.

Republican David Jolly was elected last month in that district, narrowly defeating Democrat Alex Sink, in a special election following the death of longtime Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young. Sink has decided not to run in the regularly scheduled election this fall.

As a longtime pastor, Sykes said "I think I'm known in the community for the work that I've done."

Sykes said some of the important issues in this campaign are health care, immigration reform and equal pay for women.

"I support the president in his position on these three," he said.