On CNN's Inside Politics, John King "broke" the news Sunday morning that Washington-based Democrats are recruiting Alex Sink to run again for the CD13 seat that she lost to David Jolly last month by 1.8 percent.
“I’m told the House Democratic leadership reached out to her convinced her to leave the door open,” he said. “Now they are lobbying her publicly and privately very aggressively to get her into the race. ”
Sink has been maintaining her options, telling CL 10 days ago that she was giving herself some more time before opting on whether or not to challenge Jolly in what would be once again one of the most closely contested congressional races of the year.
Although King noted that there were some Democrats who were down on Sink after her narrow lost, they're not the ones holding the purse strings in Washington. The morning following the election, Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) told reporters on a conference call that he absolutely wanted Sink to be the Democratic campaign in November.
"She was an extraordinary candidate," he said at that time."She will continue to be an extraordinary candidate. The decision is hers to make. We're not going to approach her until she has time to assess her options."
King is now reporting that Israel has been directing an "aggressive private campaign" to help Sink get over her reservations about running again. "That effort includes bringing Sink to a recent DCCC strategy session in New York, and sending staff to the district this past week," King writes on CNN.com.
Although Pinellas County Democrats like County Commission Janet Long and Charlie Justice have been floated as potential candidates, it's doubtful that they would enter the race Sink chooses to give it another try in November. Her entry into the race shortly after the late Bill Young passed away last fall effectively froze the field, as the previously announced Democrat in the contest, attorney Jessica Ehrlich, dropped out shortly Sink decided she was in.
There definitely was some criticism of Sink after he loss (some of it public but most of it privately stated). A natural moderate, some Democrats expressed frustration that she didn't appeal more to the party's progressive base in CD13. Instead she campaigned as someone who could work with Democrats and Republicans in breaking the logjam in Washington.
The big story coming out of the CD13 race was the fact that Democrats didn't show up in the election, with 13 percent more registered Republicans than Democrats voting last month, though the GOP only had a plus-two percent advantage in the contest. Although Democrats traditionally have less participation in off-year elections like the one this November, unquestionably turnout is expected to be higher than in the special March election.