Just When You Thought It Was Safe: Florida 13

Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), left, and Representative-elect David Jolly (R-FL) participate in a ceremonial swearing-in photo opportunity on March 13, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), left, and Representative-elect David Jolly (R-FL) participate in a ceremonial swearing-in photo opportunity on March 13, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

It has been an absolute comedy of errors for Democrats in Florida’s 13th congressional district, which as of mid-May stands atop an unthreatened throne as the most bizarre House election this year.

Oct. 9, 2013: Rep. Bill Young, who has held the seat for more than 40 years, says he won’t run for re-election.

Oct. 18, 2013: Young dies.

Jan. 4, 2014: The Tampa Bay Times publishes a bombshell story that the late congressman had a secret first family with whom he’d cut off ties after divorcing their mom to marry his former secretary, Beverly Young.

Jan. 14: David Jolly, a former attorney for Young, wins a Republican primary. He’ll face Alex Sink, the 2012 Democratic nominee for governor in Florida and the top Democratic recruit.

Jan. 17: Beverly Young fires back at the Times in an open letter asking the paper, among other things, if it has a soul.

Feb. 13: Polls show Sink leading  Jolly by seven points. A later poll would show her up nine. More than $11 million pours into a race that takes on national significance as a bellwether for November.

March 10: Polls tighten. Sink is up three in one, Jolly up two in another.

March 11: Jolly wins.

March 26: Democrats in Washington urge Sink to run again. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the second-ranking House Democrat, tells reporters, if she does, “I think she wins.”

April 15:  Sink says she won’t run again.

April 23: Beverly Young rips Jolly in an open letter over not hiring several of the late Rep. Young’s staff. “He’s made a mockery out of my husband’s life and legacy,” she tells WFLA TV.

April 30:- Local Democratic leaders rally to push St. Petersburg pastor Manuel Sykes, who has decided to run against Jolly, out of the race, saying he’s un-electable. Among the reasons reportedly cited: Sykes is black, and the district’s voters overwhelmingly aren’t.

May 5: DCCC Chairman Steve Israel extolls the virtues of Democrats’ hand-picked candidate Ed Jany, a Marine, former Republican and political novice, in an interview with Bloomberg News in New York.

May 10: The Tampa Bay Times strikes again, reporting Jany embellished his resume.

May 13: Jany drops out, citing work responsibilities related to the World Cup.

To be sure, weirder things have happened in politics — just ask Thad McCotter, who holds the crown for 2012 — but we’re hard-pressed to think of any this cycle.

Florida 13, for now, takes the cake.

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