This Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. voters in Florida's 13th Congressional District will have an unfettered view of the three candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives during a "Conversation with the Candidates" being broadcast locally by Bay 9 News and nationally by C-Span. Co-Sponsored by the AARP, the debate will include Libertarian Lucas Overby, Republican David Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink.
The trio are running in a special election after the seat was vacated by the death of Republican Bill Young. The live, hour long debate will be hosted on the SPC Seminole campus by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions. Voters in Florida's 13th Congressional District will decide the winner on March 11, 2014.
“We believe this debate will not only inform the voters of District 13 but will air issues of great importance to the people of the entire Tampa Bay region,” said Times Editor Neil Brown. “A congressional seat has high stakes for all of us.”
The trend of voters favors Overby as they leave the Democratic and Republican parties in favor of registering NPA (No Party Affiliation) or with smaller political parties such as Overby's Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party of Florida membership and voter registration has increased dramatically in the last few years as voters realize they are more libertarian on the issues than they once realized.
Overby and Sink have their work cut out for them however as the district has only had Republicans in office since 1983. No Democrat, or other candidate, has to date been able to beat a Republican in the district. Although voters in the district did go with Barack Obama in a tight presidential run - Obama received 50% of the vote and Romney 49%.
Overby has worked with GSA, GLAAD, SOAR, NORML, PUFMM, the Libertarian Party of Florida and the Libertarian Party and has been political active since 2003. In 2009, the birth of his daughter, Raegan, inspired him to create the voter education group "Take a District" with the intent of promoting a multi-partisan dialogue on issues of concern in local districts.
Jolly is a Republican insider, being Young's general counsel and the vice president of Boston Finance Group, a private equity company. He is on the Board of Advisors for the Elder Law program at Stetson University School of Law in St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance, the Town of Indian Shores Public Services Committee and Board of Adjustment and the Boys & Girls Club of Suncoast.
Sink was Florida's Chief Financial Officer and has worked with the United Way Worldwide Advisory Board, Florida Tax Watch, Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay, Healthy Kids, Take Stock in Children and the Florida Wildlife Federation.