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Alex Sink: 'I’ve Had a Lot of Experience with the Republican Mean Machine'

Alex Sink for Congress Campaign

Within hours of Democrat Alex Sink's announcement that she is running for Bill Young's congressional seat, the Republican Party of Florida emailed and posted a negative ad about "Alex Sink's failures."

Former Florida Chief Financial Officer Sink is the first major candidate to announce for Congressional District 13 which was held by Republican C.W. Bill Young for 43 years before he died earlier this month.

Sink wasted no time after her announcement became public. She hit the campaign trail Wednesday visiting with folks in Pinellas. She lunched at Pete and Shorty’s, a popular Clearwater restaurant, and intermittently fielded news reporters' calls on a cell phone.

Just as quickly, the Republican Party of Florida sent out a “rapid response video and release."

Sink was not surprised when informed about the GOP release.

“I’ve had a lot of experience with the Republican mean machine,” said Sink, who lost a close race for governor in 2010 to Republican Rick Scott.

“You know, this is the reason I’m running because I think that people are sick and tired of this kind of bickering back and forth, negative campaigning. People in Florida know me,” Sink said.

Currently, Sink lives at her lakeside home in Thonotosassa miles from Congressional District 13. However, she said she plans to move to Pinellas County within the next few weeks, before the primary election.

However, Sink said she is no stranger to Pinellas voters who elected her as CFO and also supported her 2010 candidacy for governor. She lost narrowly in the statewide vote to Rick Scott.

“I know my way around here (Pinellas County),” Sink said. “Now, I've got a lot to learn. You've always got a lot to learn. But the question really is - can I share the values of the people of this district and can I be an effective and vocal advocate for them when it comes to representing them in the halls of Congress and I know I can.”

Jessica Ehrlich is the other Democrat in the race. She ran unsuccessfully against Young last year and was already campaigning for the 2014 race. Sink said she contacted Ehrlich personally about joining the race for Congressional District 13.

The special elections have not yet been scheduled by the governor.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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