Attorney Jessica Ehrlich to challenge Rep. C.W. Bill Young again

Published April 18 2013
Updated April 19 2013

ST. PETERSBURG — Attorney Jessica Ehrlich, who failed to unseat veteran Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young in last year's general election, announced Thursday that she will try again in 2014.

Ehrlich, a 39-year-old Democrat, said Young has lost touch with Pinellas County, accusing him of not helping education, job creation, Medicare and Social Security.

"It's infuriating to watch what is going on in the House of Representatives,'' she said, echoing themes from her last election bid. "Congress is still not listening, not compromising, not offering solutions.''

Young, a political mainstay for decades, has often trounced any opposition, and the 2012 race was no exception. He took 57 percent of the vote to Ehrlich's 42, even though President Barack Obama topped the Democratic ticket and won Pinellas County.

Ehrlich said she expects a better outcome in 2014 because she will have 19 months to run instead of seven last year.

She also has the support of her party.

Allison Tant, who chairs the Florida Democratic Party, issued a statement praising Ehrlich's "background of finding bipartisan solutions to our nation's problems.''

Young is serving his 22rd term, currently representing the 13th Congressional District, which encompasses most of Pinellas. He could not be reached for comment.

Ehrlich worked as a congressional aide for Florida Republican Clay Shaw and Massachusetts Democrat Stephen Lynch. She has also worked for Bloomberg. She currently advises clients on legislative and regulatory issues.