Oops: Democrats now have no candidate for competitive House seat in Florida

You remember FL-13. Now-Rep. David Jolly beat Democratic favorite Alex Sink in a special election fueled by Obamacare angst. Democrats had a chance to win it back in November, but they just lost their candidate.

Ed Jany, the Marine and former cop, national and state Democratic leaders hailed as an ideal candidate to take on newly elected U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, in Pinellas County’s Congressional District 13, is dropping out of the race.

The sudden and surprise announcement comes days after a Tampa Bay Times report about him seemingly padding his educational background and resume.

Jany entered the race at the last minute — after Democrats more or less threatened a prominent African-American minister to keep him out of the contest. In a statement Jany said he has realized he does not have the time to run for office:

“It is with deep regret that I announce my withdrawal from the race for U.S. Representative in the Thirteenth District. In my professional capacity, I am responsible for coordinating some of the Command and Control for Security at the World Cup in Brazil this year, something I committed to doing some time ago. I wrongly assumed that I could maintain my professional work requirements while running for office, just as I was able to work full-time as a police officer while pursuing a full-time education and balancing my military service in the past. Unfortunately, the political process does not allow for me to continue my professional work, and I cannot afford to support my family while campaigning without an income. This has been a very tough decision that I’ve considered thoughtfully over the course of the last week, but it’s the best choice for my family right now.”


Steve Israel, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says the Democratic party is throwing its full weight behind Jany.

“An American hero, Colonel Jany’s service, independence and proven ability to bring people together to get results is exactly what’s missing from the broken politics of Washington,” said Israel. “Democrats are proud to support Colonel Jany and confident he will run an aggressive, successful campaign.”

The best part? The Democratic Party chased a prominent black minister out of the race in favor of Jany:

Pinellas County’s Democratic chairman left a bluntly worded voicemail telling well-known St. Petersburg pastor Manuel Sykes he would be “persona non grata” if he followed through with plans to run for Congress.

Sykes was the only announced Democratic candidate in Pinellas County’s 13th Congressional District, but he said Wednesday he has now decided not to run after all.

In the voicemail, Mark Hanisee said party officials had spoken to the offices of two key Democrats, former congressional candidate Alex Sink and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.

“Neither one of them are endorsing you, nor is the (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee). They have another candidate,” Hanisee said. He added, “You better hold off, or, like I told you Sunday night, you are going to be persona non grata. Take that to the bank. That’s telling you the gospel truth. You’re going to be getting a call from Rick Kriseman, if you haven’t already, telling you to back off. Have a nice weekend.”

So, they passed up Sykes for a guy who’s not even a Democrat, does not live in the district, and may have padded his resume. And, now they have no one.

The state’s May 2 filing deadline has passed, so there no time left for another candidate to get on the ballot to run against Mr. Jolly.

Congrats, Rep. Jolly.

Exit schadenfreude:

Longtime Congressman John Conyers of Michigan doesn’t have enough signatures to appear on the Aug. 5 primary ballot, an elections official announced Tuesday.

Conyers’ nominating petitions were insufficient, Wayne County Clerk Kathy Garrett said in a statement.