David Jolly defeats Alex Sink in race with national overtones
CLEARWATER — Republican David Jolly on Tuesday night won the closely-watched, extremely expensive and relentlessly negative battle for Florida's 13th Congressional District, signaling trouble for Democrats as they head into the midterm elections and face the weight of Obamacare.
Jolly's victory over Democrat Alex Sink was secured about 7:30 p.m., and he will fill the seat that had been occupied more than four decades by his former boss, Rep. C.W. Bill Young, whose death in October set off the special election.
The contest drew national attention and eye-popping spending — more than $12 million, the bulk from outside groups that drowned out local issues and underscored a fundamental shift in control away from candidates.
It was a deflating moment for Democrats, who were already facing a tough November and saw in Sink a buffer from the health care attacks. And it was a crushing blow to Sink, the former state CFO who narrowly lost her 2010 race for governor to political rookie millionaire Rick Scott.
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