David Jolly (R) beats Alex Sink (D) in bellwether FL special election

David Jolly (R) beats Alex Sink (D) in bellwether FL special election

[Ed. – Preview of coming attractions]

Republican David Jolly narrowly defeated Democrat Alex Sink on Tuesday in a Tampa-area House race largely seen as a critical test for ObamaCare.

With nearly 100 percent of the vote counted, Jolly had 48.5 percent of the vote to Sink’s 46.7 percent. Libertarian Lucas Overby had 4.8 percent.

The race to replace the late Rep. Bill Young was considered a tossup, and was cast as a political bellwether, and a testing ground for each party’s messaging strategy — which revolves in part around the Affordable Care Act.

Jolly’s election night headquarters in Clearwater Beach erupted into loud cheers as it became clear he was the winner. In his victory speech, Jolly simultaneously struck a conciliatory tone and expressed gratitude for his mentor, Young, and Young’s family. Jolly was introduced by former “Price is Right” game show host Bob Barker, via video. Young’s two adult sons were also onstage with Jolly, and he embraced them at the end of his speech.

Jolly didn’t mention the issue that dominated much of the campaign — the president’s health care package — and instead said that Pinellas County must work together.

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