Former Congressional aide and attorney Jessica Ehrlich (D) will announce a bid for Congress today against 21-term Rep. Bill Young (R) in Florida's newly numbered 13th Congressional district.
“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 said in a statement. “Bill Young has represented Pinellas County honorably and admirably, but over his more than 40 years in Congress, he’s changed. Representative Young has lost touch with our values and our priorities and has become a symbol of what’s wrong with Washington."
But Ehrlich, who has worked for former Rep. Clay Shaw (R-Fla.) and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), will have a steep and rocky road to unseating Young, who was first elected to Congress in 1970.
Florida Democrats told Roll Call that although the district appears to be a prime pickup opportunity for Democrats on paper — it would have voted more than 53 percent for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election — the reality is that voters know and like Young and are probably going to vote for him in 2012, as their parents and grandparents probably did in decades passed.
Young won with 66 percent of the vote in the current 10th district, which is very similar to the new 13th.
If Young, 81, who has said he is running for re-election, ends up not being on the ballot, this district becomes a good opportunity for Democrats.
Republicans in the state said there's a bench of good GOP candidates in the wings, but without a well-known incumbent, it could be a hard district to keep.