Rev. Manuel Sykes considers congressional run
The Rev. Manuel Sykes, of St. Petersburg's Bethel Community Baptist Church, said he's considering running for Congress in Pinellas County's District 13.
That's the district in which Republican David Jolly won election March 11, narrowly defeating Democrat Alex Sink, in a special election following the death of longtime Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young.
Sykes, a Democrat and president of the St. Petersburg NAACP, said many people have urged him to run in the district, which extends from south Pinellas to Dunedin, with portions of southern and downtown St. Petersburg cut out. But the Democratic picture is unclear. Sink has said she also is considering running again for the seat in the fall, and top Democratic Party officials have urged her to do so.
Syke said he's listening to supporters and giving the idea serious thought, but he also said "my biggest interest is in not splitting the party. It's too important to jump in out of ambition."
Sykes said that because of redistricting, he is no longer a resident of District 13. He said he would move into the district if he decides to run.