Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

U.S. House minority whip stumps for Rep. C.W. Bill Young challenger Democrat Jessica Ehrlich

Democrat Jessica Ehrlich, left, met with Rep. Steny Hoyer, Democratic House minority whip, and Pinellas seniors to discuss Medicare.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

Democrat Jessica Ehrlich, left, met with Rep. Steny Hoyer, Democratic House minority whip, and Pinellas seniors to discuss Medicare.

ST. PETERSBURG — Jessica Ehrlich is the latest Democrat to attempt to unseat U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores. Young has fended off Democrats before — he's held the seat since 1971.

At least one national Democrat, though, thinks Ehrlich has a chance: Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. The Democratic House minority whip visited Ehrlich's campaign office Wednesday morning to discuss Medicare with Ehrlich and a small group of Pinellas County seniors.

Hoyer cast the 2012 elections as a stark choice on the role of government in society.

"There is a real, very substantive difference in the approaches of the two parties … frankly, a chasm of difference," he said.

Republican proposals for Medicare, Hoyer said, would move the program to private insurers while leaving the sickest seniors on traditional Medicare and driving up costs.

Young's name wasn't mentioned during the forum, but afterward Ehrlich said voters were ready for a change.

"He's now been in office for half a century, and his views and what he's doing really don't represent the values of people in Pinellas County," she said. "He's voted twice now for this budget that would end, essentially, Medicare as we know it."

Ehrlich, a 38-year-old attorney and St. Petersburg native, 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 Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts on the financial services committee.

Hoyer called Young, 81, "a wonderful person and a good friend of mine. I like Bill Young. But this is not about personalities. This is about two different visions and two different policies for how we grow jobs, build America, continue to provide security for our seniors, our children and people at risk."

Young, meanwhile, gave the Tampa Bay Times this statement through staff: "I've told Steny for years how great Pinellas County is. I'm glad he got to visit." Young's office also pointed out that the Times' fact-checking website PolitiFact rated the statement that Republicans voted to end Medicare as the "Lie of the Year."

Since then, Democrats like Ehrlich have softened their rhetoric to include more qualifiers like ending Medicare "as we know it."

Hoyer is on a swing through Florida for Democratic candidates: He's also meeting with Val Demings (challenging Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden), Keith Fitzgerald (challenging Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota) and Patrick Murphy (challenging Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation).

Ehrlich is competing for the Democratic nomination against Nina Hayden, an attorney and former Pinellas County School Board member. Ehrlich and Hayden, 37, are scheduled to debate June 5 at a meeting of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club.

U.S. House minority whip stumps for Rep. C.W. Bill Young challenger Democrat Jessica Ehrlich 05/23/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 11:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New Port Richey police investigating shooting that left one man wounded

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A man was shot and wounded Saturday after police said he assaulted a restaurant employee.

  2. What to watch this week: 'Still Star-Crossed' on ABC, 'House of Cards' Season 5

    Blogs

    MONDAY

    Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey in House of Cards Season 5.
  3. Rays call up Jose De Leon to add depth to bullpen tonight

    Blogs

    The Rays decided that after playing 15 innings Sunday they could use some depth and length in their bullpen after all and have decided to call up RHP Jose De Leon from Triple-A.

    RHP Erasmo Ramirez is still slated to start tonight, even after throwing 12 pitches to get the final three outs - and the save - in …

    The Rays have recalled Jose De Leon from Triple-A Durham.
  4. Trump hails the fallen and their families at Arlington

    Nation

    ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald Trump expressed his nation's "boundless and undying" gratitude Monday to Americans who have fallen in battle and to the families they left behind, hailing as heroes the hundreds of thousands buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

    President Donald Trump participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. [Photo by Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images]
  5. Tiger Woods arrested in Florida on DUI charge, released

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested early Monday on a DUI charge in Jupiter, Florida, and spent nearly four hours in a county jail before he was released.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.