U.S. House | District 13

This race pits veteran C.W. Bill Young, first elected to Congress in 1970, against newcomer Jessica Ehrlich, a lawyer and former congressional aide. Ehrlich has called Young out of touch with the electorate, but she has been stymied by Young's refusal to show up for debates and she has been attacked by a local blogger who questioned details of her resume. Meanwhile Young made news by changing his position on Afghanistan, telling someone asking about the minimum wage to "Get a job!" and contending he'd been the victim of politically motivated break-ins even though police say they can't find any evidence they occurred. Craig Pittman, Times staff writer

C.W. Bill Young, 81

Congressman

Jessica Ehrlich, 38

Lawyer

RepublicanPartyDemocrat
Bill Young, from Indian Shores, served 10 years in the Florida Senate before winning the 1970 race for Congress, and he has been there ever since, making him the House's longest-serving Republican member. His specialty has been funneling money to hometown projects, some of which now bear his name, such as the C.W. Billl Young Reservoir in Hillsborough County. Young also likes to point out that it was while he chaired the House Appropriations Committee in 2001 that Congress passed its last balanced budget. He has built a reputation as a strong supporter of veterans and also helped found a federal bone marrow registry. However, an appearance in Treasure Island this year produced a gaffe seen nationwide when an activist asked him about raising the minimum wage and Young snapped, "Get a job!" Experience Jessica Ehrlich grew up in St. Petersburg, the daughter of a socially prominent lawyer, Charles Ehrlich. She graduated from Southern Methodist University Law School and interned at the U.S. District Court for Middle Florida. She practiced law with her father, then spent several months as an aide to U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale. After Shaw's defeat in 2006, she spent two years working as counsel for U.S. Rep. John Lynch, D-Mass., dealing primarily with handling the Financial Services Committee, taxes and Social Security. She became a legal analyst for Bloomberg, and then a product director, but began splitting her time between New York and Florida to care for her father during his battle with a terminal blood disease. When he died, she moved back to St. Petersburg permanently.

Young dropped out of high school at 15 to work odd jobs and sell insurance, but he has an honorary degree from the University of South Florida.EducationB.A. from Vanderbilt University, 1995; law degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 2005

Young has long been a staunch opponent of drilling off Florida. It was his amendment to a supplemental appropriations bill in 1983 that established the first moratorium on drilling off the state's west coast. Young "believes that transitioning from imported oil to renewable, clean and domestic sources of energy is the best long-term strategy."Where do you stand on energy and the issue of drilling off Florida's coast?"Energy independence and job creation are of vital importance, but they must not come at the expense or the destruction of our most valuable natural resources," Ehrlich says. She promises to ensure that the beaches of Pinellas County "remain national treasures for generations to come" by advocating for investments in clean energy and to stop tax breaks for oil companies.
On his website, Young says he "opposes government intrusion into Americans' health care, and voted consistently against the president's drastic overhaul which was signed into law earlier this year."Do you support any or all of the Affordable Care Act?"My recent experience with my father's terminal illness highlighted for me the dire situation of our health care system," Ehrlich says. She said she supports much of the Affordable Care Act, but "I am against the $500 billion cuts to Medicare in both the Affordable Care Act and the Ryan budget. I also oppose the Independent Panel Advisory Board in the Affordable Care Act and would support legislation to overturn that provision."
Young "supports state efforts to assist federal officials in the enforcement of federal immigration laws," he says on his website. "Young continues to oppose amnesty as a way of dealing with illegal immigration."What should the U.S. do to fix its immigration system?"The Dream Act is an important first step in fixing our broken immigration system. There is no reason to exclude immigrants who were brought here as children and have served our military or earned a college degree from becoming American citizens. This is their country and they have shown a desire to contribute to its success that should be rewarded. It is unconscionable that Republicans would seek to prevent someone who has fought for their country in combat the right of citizenship."
He "supports amendments to the Constitution that would require a balanced budget every year and place a cap on how much taxpayer money can be spent each year," he says on his website. He notes that "the last time the government balanced its budget, Congressman Young was Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee."How would you reduce the federal deficit?"We must take a more balanced approach to reducing the federal deficit," Ehrlich says. "Cutting wasteful spending and increasing efficiency in government coupled with new revenues will put us on a path to reducing our deficit. Eliminating tax breaks for big oil and making billionaires pay their fair share will ensure working families and small businesses don't carry the burden of getting our country back on a fiscally responsible track."
Homes, bank and investment accountsAssetsInvestments, bank account
MortgageLiabilitiesNo liabilities, according to campaign manager Kiel Brunner
Congressional salaryIncomeInterest on investments
A native of Pennsylvania, Young is married with three grown sons.PersonalEhrlich, a native Floridian, is single and has no children. She has a dog named Stanley who "wrote" one of her campaign's fundraising letters.
congressmanbillyoung.comWebsite ehrlichforcongress.com
billyoung@congressmanbillyoung.comEmailjessica@ehrlichforcongress.com

About the job: U.S. House members serve two-year terms, voting on federal budgets and policies such as immigration, financial regulation and energy. They are paid $174,000 a year.

Florida's U.S. House District 13: Jessica Ehrlich (D), C.W. Bill Young (R)

This race pits veteran C.W. Bill Young, first elected to Congress in 1970, against newcomer Jessica Ehrlich, a lawyer and former congressional aide. Ehrlich has called Young out of touch with the electorate, but she has been stymied by Young's refusal to show up for debates and she has been attacked by a local blogger who questioned details of her resume. Meanwhile Young made news by changing his position on Afghanistan, telling someone asking about the minimum wage to "Get a job!" and contending he'd been the victim of politically motivated break-ins even though police say they can't find any evidence they occurred.

Florida's U.S. House District 13: Jessica Ehrlich (D), C.W. Bill Young (R) 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:14pm]

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