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Politics / Issues

Jessica Ehrlich Ends Campaign to Succeed Bill Young

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Jessica Ehrlich has just announced she's won't seek the Democratic nomination to succeed C.W. Bill Young, who recently passed away.

Ehrlich unsuccessfully challenged Young two years ago, and was considered the front-runner - until Alex Sink entered the picture. Sink, who ran for governor against Rick Scott, announced recently she's moving from her home in Thonotosassa in Hillsborough County to campaign for the Pinellas-based Congressional seat.

Here's Ehrlich's statement:

"This morning I am officially announcing that I am suspending my campaign for Congress. I want to thank my amazing staff, donors, and volunteers for everything they have done for our campaign. In particular, I would like to thank the hardworking men and women of the labor movement who have supported my fight for Florida's middle class families. I also want to thank the voters of Florida's 13th Congressional district for their continued support. While this is not the result I was hoping for, I remain committed to helping the families of Pinellas County, this state, and this country." 

In an email, Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant said, " "I want to personally thank Jessica for her hard work on behalf of our state and our Party. She has run an incredible campaign that offered voters a positive vision for Florida's 13th Congressional district. Jessica is a dedicated fighter for Florida's working families and I look forward to working alongside her going forward."

Sink's entry into the race effectively clears the Democratic slate in what is expected to be one of the most hotly-contested Congressional races in the country. Ehrlich was initially endorsed by Emily's List, but that was rescinded after Sink announced her candidacy.

On the Republican side, David Jolly, a former Young aide, has said he will run.

Last week, Gov. Rick Scott announced the dates for the special election - the primary will be Jan. 14, with the general election held March 11.