Democrats Won’t Have a Candidate in Competitive Florida District, Race moves to Safe

Nathan L. Gonzales May 13, 2014 · 1:52 PM EDT

Apparently Democrats are determined to challenge the old political axiom, “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.” in Florida’s 13th District.

Just a couple weeks ago, Democratic strategists tried to pull off some ballot jiu jitsu by keeping the Democratic field clear until after the filing deadline so that they could run former Republican Ed Jany as a No Party Affiliation candidate in the general election.

Keeping the Democratic field clear looked like a good idea until Jany dropped out of the race on Tuesday, leaving Democrats with no candidate at all in a very competitive district that Republican David Jolly won just two months ago.  

Jany cited work conflicts as a reason for dropping out. But the Tampa Bay Times wrote a blistering story over the weekend poking significant holes into his resume.

In the small world of House races, this is a pretty major mistake. While Democrats didn’t have a clear path to a majority before Jany’s exit, now another competitive Republican seat is completely off the table. Since Democrats don’t have a candidate, I think we’re pretty secure in changing our Rothenberg Political Report rating of the race from Lean Republican to Safe Republican.

Jolly will face Libertarian Lucas Overby in the November general election.