The DCCC finds a candidate to oppose David Jolly in CD13 this fall

Posted by Mitch Perry on Fri, May 2, 2014 at 2:48 PM

  • Ed Jany
It hasn't been very attractive, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) apparently has found a candidate at the last hour to run in the CD13 race vs. just-elected Republican David Jolly in November.

He's Ed Jany Jr., who's got several pluses and a few minuses as he enters into what for him will be a whole new world. The positives? He's a an American success story, an immigrant who came to the U.S. with his parents from Brazil as a young child, and ended up having a successful military career while also serving in law enforcement. And he's a converted Republican, saying his party left him after last fall's government shutdown. But because of an unusual state law (created after Charlie Crist left the GOP in 2010), a candidate must be registered with a party a year before filing to run for office from that same party. So he'll actually be running as an independent, officially known as non-party-affiliated. 

And once again, the DCCC has chosen a candidate (after handpicking Alex Sink last fall) who doesn't actually live in CD13, but across the Bay in Hillsborough County. Though Jany says he doesn't think it will be an impediment, it was an underrated but legitimate factor for Sink.

Another problem, at least for today, was that Jany didn't seem too steeped in the issues for a congressional candidate.
When asked on a conference call what particular issues he'd like to focus on if elected, Jany responded with a volley of cliches, saying he didn't want to get too "into the weeds" in his first meeting with the press. He trotted out bromides (à la Sink) of wanting to transcend partisan politics and to bring people together in Washington.

When asked specifically about the Affordable Care Act, an issue he's certainly going to be called upon to discuss throughout the campaign, Jany was maddeningly vague, talking about how, as a veteran, Tricare has been a lifesaver for him and his wife Luciano, a breast cancer survivor. When asked to be more specific, he said there are "good aspects and bad aspects" to the law. "I think we need to review it and see, but you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater."

Jany has had a distinguished public career in the military. He served in the Special Forces, where he earned his Green Beret, and the Marine Corps Reconnaissance and Special Operations. He also served as Commanding Officer for the Anti-Terrorism Battalion and worked for Special Operations Command Central at MacDill Air Force Base, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

When asked by CL how it worked out that he ended up running for Congress with the DCCC's blessing, Jany denied that party elders reached out to him."This is something I started," he said, admitting that he's never had much "of an inkling to go into politics."

Jany's entry into the race comes a day after the ugly reality of party politics made it into print, with Pinellas Democratic Executive Committee Chair Mark Hanisee being quoted in the Tampa Bay Times telling the previous Democrat who entered the race, the Reverend Manuel Skyes, that he was not the choice of the DCCC.

National Republican Congressional Campaign (NRCC) spokesperson Katie Prill blasted the choice of Jany, calling it the DCCC's "epic recruitment fail." Prill said in a statement that "this is a humongous recruitment fail for Nancy Pelosi and the DCCC. 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. This is truly embarrassing for Washington Democrats."

Comments (5)

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And the mystery candidate emerges, a Republican who has never run for office and does not live in District 13. Just wow.

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Posted by Angela Owens on 05/02/2014 at 3:24 PM

If you want to see a viable and credible candidate to oppose David Jolly, start getting to know Lucas Overby, the Libertarian who is a lifelong Pinellas County resident, ran a respectable campaign in the special election and has filed to run for the November election as well.

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Posted by Jeff Louderback on 05/02/2014 at 3:30 PM

It is now passe to actually put up a candidate who actually lives in, or has any ties to, the district he or she proposes to represent in Congress? In that case, why not bring in somebody from out of state? I'm sure there are a lot of aspiring politicians would love to leave their current locations and come to Florida for the opportunities, weather and low taxes.

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Posted by Ray Zacek on 05/02/2014 at 3:36 PM

What has happened to the Democrats? Locally? Statewide? Nationally? I was once a proud Dem. Now, I am just shaking my head. It is not the new shade of purple that gets me. Have we no talent in Pinellas County at all? This is a sad commentary on the state of things. I had a conversation with Manny Sykes earlier and he deserved more respect than he received. Shame on the leadership of the Pinellas County Democrats --

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Posted by Ellen Kirkland on 05/03/2014 at 12:18 AM

I will never give the DCCC another penny. What happened to the days when candidates lived in the districts in which they ran, and voters decided whom they wanted during the primary.

Posted by Disillusioned on 05/14/2014 at 10:39 PM
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