Keith Cate sits down with Alex Sink - WFLA News Channel 8

Keith Cate sits down with Alex Sink

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HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Alex Sink looks and feels right at home campaigning in Pinellas County.

"I'm no stranger to Pinellas county or to people who live in Pinellas County,” Sink said.

In fact, she is now a neighbor.

“I have moved to Feather Sound,” said Sink.

Sink rented a condo in November, but that doesn’t mean the former democratic nominee for governor is ready to sell the family home place by Lake Thonotosassa.

"I'm not about to face my children and say their childhood home, where all their memories are and their father's memories are, is going to be sold,” Sink said.

Sink’s husband, Bill McBride, also a former democratic nominee for governor, died in 2012.  Together they built a porch-wrapped country house, modeled after Sink’s childhood home in Mayberry, North Carolina.

Related content:  Sink talks about life since 2010

During News Channel 8’s visit in 2010, we learned about Adelaide Alexander Sink’s famous ancestry.

“They were conjoined twins,” Sink said.  “Never able to be separated.”

Alex Sink is a descendant of the famous Siamese twins Chang and Eng, who joined the circus and toured the world.  Sink graduated from Wake Forest with a degree in math.  She then moved to West Africa, and taught for three years.  After that, Sink built an impressive career in banking, was Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, and started the Florida Next Foundation to support small businesses.

If she wins the March 11th special election, she would become the first Democrat to do so since the early 50’s.

“It’s going to be very close,” says Sink.

Republicans are trying to brand Sink as a left-wing lackey of President Obama, who favors higher taxes and embraces Obamacare.      

“These are the same recycled Rick Scott attack ads that were played against me four years ago,” Sink argues.  “They are misleading, they are deceptive.”

Sink believes there is room for improvement in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare”.  Among them:  allowing negotiations with pharmaceutical companies for Medicare drug prices.  Sink says repealing the law would be disastrous.

“That means we go back to where we were before to a system that was absolutely not working for people,” says Sink.  “The donut hole for seniors, thousands of dollars of exposure to increased prescription drug prices, people with pre existing conditions being denied and not being given health insurance, people hitting lifetime limits.”

“We cannot go back to where we were before,” Sink concluded.

The push-back on Republican opponent David Jolly is that he is a lobbyist, an influence peddler for those who want to privatize Social Security and end Medicare.

Related content:  Keith Cate sits down with David Jolly

Jolly accuses Sink of playing loose with the truth, and would vote against any changes to Social Security.

“That's lobbyist speak,” Sink says.

Like her opponent, Sink wants a permanent solution to skyrocketing flood insurance rates.  She says over the past 30 years, Pinellas County has paid eight times more in premiums than it has ever claimed back.  Her outrage over the reform that led to higher rates is one of the reasons she got into the race.

“I'm really mad at FEMA because they knew better. They should have held their hand up to Congress and say you know, you pass this law,” Sink said.  “But there are going to be bad implications for people, for homeowners and maybe we better stop it until we do these adorability studies and these mapping studies."

Alex Sink is hardly a new face to the public.  She is easily one of Florida’s most prominent Democratic figures.  She is attending dozens of house parties during her campaign because she wants people in Pinellas County to get to know her better.

“And I’m pretty confident they’re going to decide it’s Alex Sink,” said Sink.

Watch Thursday at 6 p.m. for Keith’s interview with Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby!

More: District 13 candidates discuss flood insurance, health care

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