Billy Young stood in place of his father, Rep. C.W. Bill Young, at a forum on Thursday at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom. Although Young was present for the forum, Jessica Ehrlich, walked off the stage following her two minute introduction. Ehrlich, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 13, cited the absence of her opponent as the reason for leaving.
Billy Young stated his father could not make it due to scheduled events in Washington D.C., including a briefing with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Young also provided printed flyers of the representatives's schedule to audience members.
Watch our video for Billy Young's reaction to Ehrlich's decision to leave the stage.
In all, 19 candidates were invited to take part in the Meet the Candidates Forum by the Gulfport Democratic Club and St. Petersburg Republican Club.
Organizers allowed all candidates to address voters with a two minute introduction and followed with two prepared questions for each race. They also allowed candidates to have a representative in their absence; a first for the forums in Gulfport.