Surprising absolutely no one, the Tampa Bay Times endorses Alex Sink

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Surprising absolutely no one, the Tampa Bay Times announced Friday the recommendation of Democrat Alex Sink for Pinellas County’s 13th Congressional District.

In a race lacking subtlety, Times’ editors believe Sink — with her regional vision for Tampa Bay — actually holds views in key issues that closely aligns with the late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who served four decades in the House.

Certainly her principles are much closer to Young’s than those of Sink’s GOP contender, former Young General Counsel David Jolly, they say.

Sink calls for reducing the deficit through targeted spending cuts and smart investments for the future, in areas like transportation and education. She believes Congress should revise the tax code to keep major U.S. corporations from avoiding paying federal taxes.

Sink also does not support military intervention in the Syrian civil war, and she has committed to continued support of local institutions such as the Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base and the University of South Florida — as Young had for many years.

No one will be able to replace Young fully, say the Times, as the man who brought home “hundreds of millions” of federal dollars to the entire Tampa Bay area. Jolly, in his fiscal conservatism, is all about cuts and narrowly paints Sink as an outsider — a truly “pinched” view of Pinellas.

Obamacare, the divisive issue of the campaign, illustrates other striking differences. Jolly insists on repeal, but provides little alternatives to cover millions of uninsured Americans. Sink says the law “needs work,” such as revisiting a medical device tax that would negatively affect businesses in Pinellas County.

The differences continue with social issues. Sink “evolved” to support same-sex marriage, while Jolly steadfastly opposes it. The same is true on abortion rights and the viability of Social Security.

As Florida CFO Sink was the only statewide elected Democrat in Republican-controlled Tallahassee. In that time, she proved her fiscal conservatism, calling for increased transparency in the state’s pension plan and reducing Florida’s financial exposure in case of hurricanes.

Sink’s understanding of public policy should pose no problem in Washington D.C., the Times endorsement notes.

Although she shows a level of discomfort on the campaign trail — a stark contrast to the more sophisticated Jolly — Sink proves committed to public service, fiscal conservatism and bipartisanship.

On the other hand, the paper concludes, Jolly fails to grasp the centrist views of CD 13, as well as the pragmatism of his former employer. 



Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.