Jolly leads in early returns in congressional race

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Updated: Tue, 14 Jan 2014 07:15:28 EST

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — David Jolly has taken an early lead in the Republican primary to fill the seat of U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who spent 43 years in Congress and died in October.

Jolly held a 44 percent to 33 percent lead over Kathleen Peters in early returns Tuesday night. Mark Bircher had 23 percent.

Whoever wins will face Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby in the March 11 general election.

Jolly is a longtime aide to Young. Peters is a state representative. Bircher is a retired brigadier general in the Marine Corps Reserve.

The 13th Congressional District encompasses almost all of densely populated Pinellas County, on Florida's Gulf Coast.

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