Pinellas Democrat drops out of race; deadline is today

Published May 2, 2014

Eric Lynn, considered a possible Democratic candidate to run for Congress in Pinellas County, has decided not to enter the race.

That leaves Democrats without a declared candidate so far in Congressional District 13, where the incumbent is recently elected Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores.

The filing deadline is noon today.

Lynn, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch of South Florida, grew up in Pinellas County and is now a senior Obama administration adviser on Middle East policy. In a release sent out Thursday, he said:

"I am truly honored by the numerous people from across Pinellas who have reached out to urge me to run for Congress in November, though after much consideration, I remain committed to my current obligations to our national security, the Secretary of Defense and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines I work with every day."

The Rev. Manuel Sykes, a well-known St. Petersburg pastor, had previously announced his intention to run. But as the Tampa Bay Times reported this week, Pinellas County's Democratic chairman urged Sykes to stay out of the race, saying national Democrats had found a different candidate. Sykes cited lack of support from the party as a factor in his decision not to run.