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In the first closely watched election since President Obama’s health care law went into effect, Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a special election for a central Florida Congressional seat.
Jolly, 41, and Sink, 65, ran a close election and Sink’s loss is seen as a major blow to Democrats. According to The Wall Street Journal, the election drew national attention and dollars, with outside interest groups coming in.
The Pinellas County supervisor of elections said that Jolly, a lobbyist, received 48.4 percent of the vote, while Sink, a former chief financial officer for the state, received 46.6 percent. A libertarian candidate, Lucas Ovrby, received 4.8 percent.
“This race is not about defending a broken agenda in Washington…This race is about serving the people in our own community,” Jolly said after the results were released. “We must never sacrifice our creator's sacred gift of liberty to us at the altar of big government.”
Sink said she was disappointed, but did congratulate Jolly on his victory, reports The Orlando Sentinel. “My life has always been shaped by a deep commitment to service and problem solving, and I look forward to finding new ways and new avenues to continue practicing these values in pursuit of doing good for our community, our state and our country,” she said in a statement.
While over $11 million ($9 million from outside Florida) was spent on the race, the same seat will be up for grabs again this November. The special election was held to fill out the rest of the late Republican Bill Young’s term.