Mitch Perry Report 5.1.14: So long, Manuel Sykes, we hardly knew ya

Posted by Mitch Perry on Thu, May 1, 2014 at 8:52 AM

The Reverend Manual Sykes might not have been the perfect candidate to challenge David Jolly in the CD13 race this November, but there is no guarantee at this point that the Democrats will have one after their August primary. Which is why it's a bit disturbing to read this morning (via Curtis Krueger in the Times) that Sykes's short stint as a candidate for the Democratic nomination is now history.

Sykes was the recipient of a hardball phone call from Pinellas Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Mark Hanissee earlier this week telling him literally to "back off" from his already announced candidacy, saying he wouldn't be the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's (DCCC) chosen candidate.

We haven't spoken with Hanisee yet to hear where he was coming from with his directive, but after the failure of the Democrats to take the CD13 seat in March, at this point should it really matter who is the DCCC's candidate? How'd that work out last time for ya? And what are primary elections for, anyway?

At the moment there is not a single Democrat who has decided to announce his or her candidacy, though that could change by the time you read this. Nevertheless it's troubling to hear that Sykes is stepping down before he ever really got up. Yes, as has been reported elsewhere, he's hardly the ideal candidate. Why is that?

Well, there's the reality that he's a black candidate in a majority white senior district. Hanisee "goes there" in explaining to Kruger why Sykes is not a "credible candidate." A previous incident in Sykes's private life could be a factor. But why not let the Democratic voters decide that?

Hanissee goes on to say that another negative is that Sykes has never run for office, but that's lame. Neither had Jessica Ehrlich before 2012. Neither had David Jolly until earlier this year. And neither might the candidate who ultimately gets in the race.

In other news… Charlie Crist is up over Rick Scott by 10 points in the latest Quinnipiac poll that polled more Democrats than Republicans.....Craft brewers like Joey Redner are waiting to see what happens today or tomorrow on Kelli Stargel's growler bill….. Transportation money for Pinellas and Hillsborough County could be drying up from Washington… and a new liberal Super PAC ad reminds voters that before Rick Scott's stance in favor of in-state tuition for undocumented Florida high school students, his positions on other core issues relating to Latino voters weren't so favorable.

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