Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

It's decision time in Pinellas congressional election

All the attack ads and campaigning end today, as voters in Pinellas County's nationally watched political battle send a new representative to Congress.

An unprecedented $12 million has poured into the hotly contested race between Republican David Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink, with politicos split on who will claim victory, what it will mean for the political parties, what it will say about Obamacare and what it will signal for the nationwide congressional elections later this year.

By now, voters have been inundated with information and misrepresentations. Here's a by-the-numbers look at the election:

0 Number of Hillsborough County residents who get to vote in this race. They have had to watch the same number of annoying television commercials as those who do live in Congressional District 13. It's confusing enough that Hillsborough's elections supervisor recently tweeted: "We are not having an election right now. Your next chance to vote will be in the Aug. 26 primary."

122,314 Voters who already turned in their ballots as of Sunday.

51,892 Registered Republicans who turned in ballots as of Sunday.

47,269 Registered Democrats who turned in ballots as of Sunday.

23,153 People who are neither Republicans nor Democrats who turned in ballots as of Sunday.

0 Registered voters in Tarpon Springs who get to vote in the congressional election. They live in Pinellas, though outside of District 13, which also cuts out downtown and southern St. Petersburg.

3 Number of congressional candidates: Jolly, Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby.

3 Number of those candidates who believe voters are getting frustrated by all the campaign commercials.

1 Number of mass-mailed fliers with pictures of flying saucers hovering over the U.S. Capitol, depicting Jolly as part of an alien invasion.

1 Number of mass-mailed fliers depicting Sink with pompoms and in uniform as "a cheerleader for Barack Obama's agenda in Washington."

$53 Conservative estimate of cost per vote, based on campaign spending.

10 Rough count of national media outlets covering the Pinellas congressional race in the past week, including the Los Angeles Times, which said "The outsized impact of outside groups has at times made the candidates seem like secondary players following scripts designed in Washington." The Washington Post called the race "the first real test of 2014 voter moods on Tuesday in a down-to-the-wire congressional race that each side is using to hone its messages for November."

5 Months until we get to do it all over again. Longtime Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young died in October, triggering this special election. Today's winner will serve out the remainder of Young's term, and then a regularly scheduled election later this year will decide who serves the next full two-year term. In that race, the primary will be Aug. 26 and the general election Nov. 4.

12 Municipal elections also being held today. Voters in these cities also head to the polls to pick new leaders and decide a referendum: Belleair Bluffs, Clearwater, Gulfport, Indian Shores, Kenneth City, Madeira Beach, Pinellas Park, Redington Shores, Safety Harbor, South Pasadena, St. Pete Beach and Tarpon Springs.

Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Not sure whether you're in the district? Go to and click on "Find Your Precinct" or call (727) 464-8683.

What's true, what isn't

Inundated by the ads and need help sorting fact from fiction? Politifact Florida can help. Go to to see a collection of fact checks on the Congressional District 13 race.

It's decision time in Pinellas congressional election 03/10/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 10, 2014 11:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bono and Bush: Former president shares photo of visit


    A surprising photo showed up Friday on former President George W. Bush's Instagram feed. Apparently Bono made a visit to the ranch:

  2. After trip's final day, Trump to return to tumult at home


    TAORMINA, Italy — Down to the final day of his lengthy first international trip, President Donald Trump will lift off for Washington having rattled some allies and reassured others, returning to a White House that sits under a cloud of scandal.

    G7 leaders sign the G7 Taormina Statement on the Fight Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism at the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy on Friday.  (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)
  3. Islamic State claims responsibility for Egypt attack


    MINYA, Egypt — The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for the attack on a bus carrying Christians on their way to a remote desert monastery south of the Egyptian capital, Cairo, which killed 29.

    Relatives of killed Coptic Christians grieve during their funeral at Abu Garnous Cathedral in Minya, Egypt, on Friday. Egyptian officials say dozens of people were killed and wounded in an attack by masked militants on a bus carrying Coptic Christians, including children, south of Cairo.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...