CLEARWATER, Florida–They say all politics is local, but Alex Sink, the Democratic Party’s hope to pick up a Congressional seat in Florida’s special election next Tuesday, only recently moved into the district in which she is running.
The Sink campaign confirmed to Breitbart News on Monday that Sink, who is looking to win the Congressional seat once occupied by the late Republican Bill Young, is currently a five-month resident of the Pinellas County district via her apartment rental. The long time Florida Democratic Party official previously had a permanent residence 31 miles outside the Republican-leaning district in Thonotosassa.
“Right now I don’t need to be roaming around Pinellas County with a Realtor trying to figure out what house I want to buy,” Sink told local Florida reporters in November. “What I need to be doing is meeting voters and talking about the issues that are important.”
The Constitution requires that members of congress live in the state they represent, but not the district – although some states require district residency. Occasionally, long time incumbents are re-drawn out of their original districts and end up running in a nearby district with a politically friendlier environment.
However, Sink, who ran a failed Democratic gubernatorial campaign against Republican Rick Scott in 2010, is being accused of opportunism by allies of her Republican opponent, David Jolly.
Jolly himself was born within the 13th district in Dunedin and worked with the late Congressman Young for nearly 20 years. He bought his home in Pinellas County in 2005 and was homesteaded in 2006.
“It is very clear that Alex Sink is a career politician who is using the folks in the 13th District to further her political ambitions,” said Jolly spokeswoman Katie Prill to The St. Petersberg Times. “Doing what’s right for Pinellas County families is not the reason why Sink is implanting herself into this district. Sink is only concerned with becoming a political player in Washington.”
Sink is taking a risk, as constituents increasingly feel their representatives are already “out of touch” with the needs and issues of their districts. Although Hillary Clinton managed to convince New Yorkers she was one of them when she won Senator Al Da’Mato’s old seat in 2000, Sink may have a tougher hill to climb.
Will Sink stick around Pinellas County if she loses to Jolly? Sink told WTSP, “You know, I’m looking at you with wonder in my face, because I’m not considering losing the election. There’s only one option, I’m winning this election.”
Breitbart News visited Sink’s campaign headquarters to ask about the issue, but spokesman Max Steele declined to answer questions, asking this reporter to “make an appointment” with him.