The widow of the late Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) says her husband asked on his deathbed for David Jolly to run for his seat.

Young died in mid-October of complications related to a back injury. He served in Congress for 42 years, since 1971.


Beverly Young, his widow, said her husband asked Jolly to run for his seat, according to Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith.

She attended a kick-off event marking the start of Jolly's congressional campaign on Thursday to support him.

Florida’s Democratic Party issued a statement Thursday, preparing its attacks against Jolly.

“After Washington lobbyist David Jolly cashed in on his political connections and manipulated the dysfunctional politics of D.C. to enrich himself at the expense of middle class Floridians, it’s impossible to trust Jolly to look out for Pinellas residents in Congress,” spokesman Joshua Karp said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“It’s exactly Jolly’s brand of dysfunctional politics that is standing in the way of solutions to solving problems at every turn and represents everything that Floridians hate about Washington. The facts are that if Jolly went back to Washington he’d do what lobbyists always do: make Congress even worse.”

Meanwhile, Democrat Alex Sink will likely be the party's nominee. Jessica Ehrlich, another Democrat, dropped out of the race Wednesday, clearing the field. She entered the race to challenge Young before he died, but decided to call off her bid once Democrats backed Sink. Ehrlich lost to Young in 2012.

The primary election is slated for Jan. 14 and the general election will be on March 11.