With a recruit now on board, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named Florida's 13th District to its Red to Blue program, with an "Emerging Races" designation.
Democrats shocked House race observers as the Florida filing deadline closed May 2, unveiling Col. Ed Jany as the party's candidate to challenge Republican Rep. David Jolly. Because of a voter registration issue, Jany will appear on the ballot as an independent — but, Jany has the full backing of the DCCC and no other Democrat is running.
“In just a few short days in the race, Colonel Ed Jany’s campaign has already generated enthusiasm among Pinellas County voters, and his strong start and the fundamentals of this district have earned him a spot on the Emerging Races program," DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement.
The DCCC uses the Red to Blue program's Emerging Races designation to highlight "candidates and districts that are making themselves competitive by running smart campaigns which are becoming increasingly competitive," according to its website. Israel recently named Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., as chairwoman of the Red to Blue program. National Republican Congressional Committee operatives scoffed at the viability of Jany's candidacy on Friday.
The race is rated Leans Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Jolly won a March special election against Democrat Alex Sink to replace the late Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young.