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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democrats think Jessica Ehrlich could pose strong challenge to U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young



erlich.jpgJessica Ehrlich, a St. Petersburg native with a bi-partisan political biography, plans to formally announce Monday her campaign to challenge veteran U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores.

Ehrlich, a lawyer, is a Democrat but worked in Washington for former Florida Republican Rep. Clay Shaw, as an aide on the Social Security subcommittee of Ways and Means. She then worked for Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch on the financial services committee.

“It’s time for Washington to stop its petty arguing and get down to the serious business of creating jobs, investing in our future, and improving the lives of all Americans,” Ehrlich, 38, said in a statement. “I have worked with both Democrats and Republicans in Washington, and I know what’s possible when our representatives put the good of the American people before partisanship."

After leaving government, she developed technology to help businesses better understand the legislative process, according to her announcement. Ehrlich returned to St. Petersburg to care for her father, who was prominent in legal and charitable circles. Charles W. Erhlich died in 2010.

Taking on Young, first elected in 1970, is never easy and we've heard over the years about Democrats who are supposedly strong enough to retire him. Ehrlich has Democrats in Washington excited but they say she has to prove she can raise the money to mount a serious campaign.

Young, 80, has not officially said he's running for another term but has started fundraising. More on Young here.

Ehrlich graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1995 and Southern Methodist University School of Law.

[Last modified: Monday, February 27, 2012 1:18am]


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