In Pinellas congressional race, jockeying continues and Ehrlich gets endorsement
Here's the latest in Pinellas County's busy District 13 congressional race, which is attracting a ton of attention and candidates since the announcement last week that longtime U.S. Rep C.W. Bill Young plans to retire.
* Nick Zoller, 25, a Republican campaign worker and consultant, said he intends to run for the Republican nomination to the seat.
* Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters, a former Republican state representative, said she does not plan to run.
* Jessica Ehrlich, a Democrat who was running even before Young's announcement, picked up the endorsement of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Zoller said he grew up in Jacksonville and has worked on Republican campaigns around the country, both as a paid staffer and as a consultant, since his high school years. He said he moved to Pinellas County in 2011 and loves the area. However, he acknowledged he was a registed voter in Orange County until updating his paperwork on Monday. He said he chose to live in this area partly because of "the people and the atmosphere." Some key issues in the race will be fiscal management, education and flood insurance, he said.
Waters, the Seminole mayor, said many people have encouraged her to run for the seat Young will vacate, which she considered "a supreme compliment." But she also said she had been extremely happy as a state representative and as mayor, and "at this time I have no plans to run for Congress."
Ehrlich, the candidate for the Democratic nomination, said she was proud to receive AFSCME's endorsement because "they have a track record for fighting for working families in Pinellas County and across the state of Florida."
Ehrlich, a lawyer, also has been endorsed by the Teamsters, United Food & Commercial Workers, Plumbers & Pipefitters, and other organizations.
About a dozen candidates so far have expressed some interest in the race.