Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

Democrats Field Recruit Against Jolly … Sort Of (Updated)

Jolly recently won a special election in Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:48 p.m. | Democrats have landed a last-minute recruit, Col. Ed Jany, a registered Democrat, to challenge Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., this fall.

The party recruited Jany to run after Jolly won a high-profile special election in Florida’s competitive 13th District earlier this spring.

However, in a strange twist, Jany will not appear on the ballot on the Democratic party line because he just registered as a Democrat last fall — switching from the GOP. Because of the “Charlie Crist Rule,” as one party strategist called it, or “Sore Loser Law,” a candidate must be registered with a party a year before filing for office from that same party.

Since Jany falls short of that requirement, he must run as a Non-Party Affiliated candidate in the general election.

“An American hero, Colonel Jany’s service, independence and proven ability to bring people together to get results is exactly what’s missing from the broken politics of Washington,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said minutes after the Florida filing deadline lapsed on Friday.

Jany’s campaign clarified the ballot issue in a campaign news release:

“Colonel Jany is required by this restrictive law to run as an NPA candidate in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, and is doing so with the full backing of the Democratic Party.”

That’s why it was critical that the Rev. Manuel Sykes (or any other Democrat) not get into the race. There would have been an official Democratic nominee that could divide the general-election vote with Jany.

It did seem particularly over the top when the Tampa Bay Times reported that the Pinellas County Democratic chairman left a voice mail for Sykes calling him “persona non grata” if he ran. But now that threat makes a little more sense since Democrats are trying to do more than simply avoid a primary.

It appears that Democratic strategists succeeded in keeping the Democratic line clear in the general election. According to a March 28 memo from Florida Bureau of Election Records Chief Kristi Reid Bronson, “Qualifying will be held from Noon, April 28, 2014 – Noon, May 2, 2014, for all U.S. House of Representatives candidates, including write-in candidates.”

Still, there is a lot of uncertainty in the race — from Jany’s first-time candidacy to the ballot craziness to the national environment.

A spokeswoman for the the National Republican Congressional Committee characterized the situation as a “humongous recruitment fail.”

“After losing all of their top recruits thanks to President Obama’s toxic agenda, they are now stuck with a candidate who couldn’t even run as a Democrat because he didn’t register in time,” NRCC spokeswoman Katie Prill said. “This is truly embarrassing for Washington Democrats.”

Jolly won a special election in March to succeed the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla. President Barack Obama won the district in 2012 with 50 percent, and the race was considered a tossup as an open seat.

A Democratic operative not affiliated with the DCCC tells CQ Roll Call that the committee conducted polling with Jany’s name and were pleased with the results. CQ Roll Call was not able to obtain the poll to verify these comments.

At least two prominent Democrats, special election nominee Alex Sink and attorney Jessica Ehrlich, passed on challenging Jolly in November.

For now, the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Leans Republican.

  • Richard Winger

    If the Florida Democratic Party wished to get him on the ballot as a Democrat, it could do that if it wanted. In 1986 the US Supreme Court ruled in Tashjian v Republican Party of Connecticut that the First Amendment protects a party’s decision to nominate a non-member. The type of restriction noted in this article has been invalidated by courts in Colorado and New Mexico. If the Democratic Party were to sue, it would win. Such lawsuits must be filed by a political party. When Nancy Argenziano had the same problem in 2012, sue sued, but the Democratic Party wouldn’t enter into the lawsuit, so she lost.

  • Coffee Fiend

    I think we can all agree that today’s liberalism is a foul and cankerous pox upon mankind.

  • darrell_b8

    Col. Ed Jany??? a Colonel in what? The Salvation Army? I can’t believe ANY military member could be a DEMOCRAT, unless, of course, they were black!! ……. I know, I know….RACIST!!!

  • Sandy0

    You are Absolutely right, racist outta-step Republican. We are making Sure that you Republican buddies, male and Female, LOSE in ALL ELECTIONS PROCEEDING FORWARD.

    YOU GOPers have told us clearly that We Do Not Count in your agenda.

    WELL, YOU DON’T COUNT IN OURS, you wretched sleazebags out for your own benefit. NO statesmen/stateswomen (NB, FL Rep angry Kath Peters, so angry she can’t think straight—boot HER out)
    can save GOP now—there are NO statesPeople here, just money-grabbers for their own assets, political AND financial.

    Vote Anything but Republican for at least a generation IF IF IF you want to have any kind of life here in USA! We have SEEEN what they are capable of.

    Why would Anyone shoot their families and themselves in the foot–they are only focussed on draining you dry, slamming the door and going over seas to DO THE EXACT SAME THING THERE.

    Heaven help THEM as America is NOT the exceptional nation except for
    1. the most innocent people behind bars
    2. terrorist police, CIA, FBI!
    3. 1 of 5 children hungry every night, with greedy fatcats eating caviar on their yachts and Making Sure YOU don’t get anything, even healthcare

    VOTE FOR YOURSELVES for a change. Big Business is NOT NOT looking out for You. IT’s a scam. Wake up, decent Republicans and Vote NO on GOP candidates, all prepped to Lie to You and Steal everything you care about,—your families and ALL!

  • York Aptain Sidney Field

    In this video we find a little more background on liberal domestic terrorist Floyd Corkins:

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