MIAMI (AP) — Six candidates will try to replace the late Congressman Bill Young in a special election next year.
Republicans Mark Bircher, David Jolly and state Rep. Kathleen Peters will vie for the GOP nomination in a Jan. 14 primary. The winner will then face lone Democrat Alex Sink, Florida's former chief financial officer, in a March 11 general election.
Libertarian Lucas Overby and write-in candidate Michael S. Levinson are also running.
The window for candidate filing closed at noon Tuesday.
The Tampa Bay area race is being watched closely as a potential bellwether of the national mood heading into the 2014 midterm elections. The Pinellas County seat is located in a swing-voting district that President Barack Obama carried in 2008 and 2012. President George W. Bush won the district in 2004.