In the race to fill the seat vacated after the passing of Rep. Bill Young, David Jolly defeated former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink by a 49-to-47 margin. Sink has been open about her support for the Senate-approved Schumer-Rubio-Obama amnesty bill and in a recent debate wondered who would clean hotel rooms without an amnesty for illegal aliens.
The Cook Partisan Voting Index rates the district, Florida's 13th, a R+1, meaning it's essentially a toss-up district. Further, Pres. Obama carried the district in both 2008 and 1012. Sink outspent Jolly 2-to-1, and the well-funded Libertarian candidate, Lucas Overby, took 5% of the vote. While other factors contributed to the outcome, Sink's outspoken support for amnesty likely played a major role.
During a February debate against Jolly, Sink said it would be difficult for employers to find people to clean hotel rooms and do landscaping unless Congress passed amnesty.
"Immigration reform is important in our country," Sink said. "We have a lot of employers over on the beaches that rely upon workers and especially in this high-growth environment, where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping? We don't need to put those employers in a position of hiring undocumented and illegal workers."
Florida's 13th district covers the Tampa Bay peninsula. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Tampa metro had 80,000 people looking for work in December.
Updated: Thu, May 11th 2017 @ 4:26pm EDT