Alex Sink: I'm running for Bill Young's seat
Alex Sink is running for Congress.
Florida’s former chief financial officer and Democratic gubernatorial nominee on Tuesday confirmed exclusively to the Tampa Bay Times that she is jumping into the race to succeed late Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young in a district covering much of Pinellas County.
Sink, 65, has begun looking for a Pinellas home and said she will move “imminently” into the district from her east Hillsborough home 45 minutes away.
“Washington’s broken. And I, like everybody else I know, is angry and mad about the logjam, about shutting down the government, about not understanding the impact it was going to have on small businesses and people. The people up there just don’t seem to be able to work together,” said Sink, who had considered running for governor again but ruled that out in late September.
“I’m somebody who’s solved problems, has a long history of working with Republicans and Democrats to get things done,” said Sink, who used to run Bank of America’s Florida operations and was CFO from 2007-2011. “I believe I can be an effective advocate for the people of Pinellas County and get to Washington and make a difference.”
The special election campaign for one of the country’s most competitive seats won’t last long.
The offices of the governor and Pinellas elections supervisor are looking at scheduling the primary for Jan. 14 and the general election for March 11, though nothing has been finalized.
The winner of that special election could face another election less than six months later — an Aug. 26 primary, then a general election on Nov. 4, 2014.
Democrats would be hard-pressed to find a higher-profile candidate than Sink for the special election already drawing national attention. Republicans were treating her like their chief opponent even before she announced her candidacy.
“Their candidate, Alex Sink, has to move in from another city to even run in this district, and she couldn’t get elected governor,” U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said on MSNBC Tuesday. “I think you’ll find she’s not compatible in this district, although she’ll start with high name ID.”
Sink lives in Thonotosassa, closer to downtown Lakeland than downtown Clearwater. She built the sprawling lakefront home with her husband, attorney Bill McBride, the 2002 Democratic gubernatorial nominee who died in December at age 67.
The carpetbagger attack on Sink is inevitable and not unprecedented. Democrat Karen Moffitt faced the same criticism when she unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Young in 1992, moving from Tampa to a rented condo on the beach.
“I am no stranger to Pinellas County,” Sink stressed. “I have a long history here. I have been involved in doing business in Pinellas County for decades, and the people of Pinellas County have elected me twice. They voted for me to be their CFO and they voted for me to be their governor, in this very district.”