Politics

Jessica Ehrlich Drops Out, GOP Says Nancy Pelosi Helping Out Alex Sink

By: Allison Nielsen and Kevin Derby | Posted: November 6, 2013 12:30 PM
Jessica Ehrlich, Nancy Pelosi, Alex Sink

Jessica Ehrlich, Nancy Pelosi, Alex Sink

Democrat Jessica Ehrlich, the St. Petersburg attorney who lost to Congressman C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., last year, announced Wednesday that she is ending her second campaign for that congressional seat -- and Republicans are claiming U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is behind it.

Ehrlich's announcement came a week after former state CFO Alex Sink, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2010 who lost to Rick Scott, announced she is running for the seat. Young died in October after complications from a back injury after serving in Congress for 43 years.

Last year, Ehrlich held Young below 60 percent, the best showing a Democrat had posted against him in decades. Looking ahead to 2014 for a rematch, Ehrlich launched a second bid this year, though Young's death accelerated her timetable. Primaries will be Jan. 14 and the general election March 11.

"This morning I am officially announcing that I am suspending my campaign for Congress," Ehrlich said in a press release on Wednesday. "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 hard-working 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,” Ehrlich said. “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."

Moments after Ehrlich pulled out, Republicans claimed Democrats at the national level are clearing the decks for Sink.

Katie Prill, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC), said Pelosi and her allies did not want a primary to hurt Sink’s chances.

“Instead of letting Florida families decide, Alex Sink and Washington Democrats forced their will on voters by demanding Jessica Ehrlich get out of this race,” Prill said on Wednesday. “It looks like the only candidate acceptable for Nancy Pelosi and her Washington attack dogs is an extreme liberal like Alex Sink who has a record of wasting Florida taxpayers’ money.”

On the Republican side, David Jolly, a former Young aide, is expected to kick off his campaign for the seat Thursday.



Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com. Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.


Comments (6)

Bill
10:19AM NOV 10TH 2013
All we were asking was ONE decent looking female rep. and look what happened...
Frank
12:21AM NOV 8TH 2013
My, my, my, aren't more than a few right wingers crying crocodile tears over a Democrat . . . . . one could almost be led to believe that they actually supported the Democrat who dropped out, rather than earlier demonizing her every chance they got . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
William
9:03PM NOV 7TH 2013
If it is true that Pelosi asked Ehrlich to clear a path for Sink, that is certainly wrong. However, (1) stuff like this can backfire; and (2) there is nothing to stop Republicans from going to Pelosi's California 12th District, and messing with politics and campaigns there.
Jan McMullen
7:07AM NOV 7TH 2013
And this is WHY our system is so broken. NO ONE has the guts to stand up for themselves against Party leaders on both sides of the aisle, WHATEVER happened to integrity?
Dean
10:01PM NOV 6TH 2013
The dark underbelly of politics. Sink has no right to block a deserving candidate like this. Ehrlich showed a high degree of CLASS, that Sink did not. Ehrlich deserved the chance torun for that seat. Shame on the dems, Sink and others. Shame!
Albert Shalhoub
6:23PM NOV 6TH 2013
So Nancy Pelosi is sticking hernose in to Florida elections. Do we need her involved in our state?
Why should'nt Alex Sink earn the right to run an not have it handed to her. She would Nancy Pelosi's puppet nothing more.

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