Jessica Ehrlich airs first TV ad in her campaign against Bill Young

Ehrlich has run one of the most focused campaigns against Young in recent memory, helped in part from getting listed as a Democrat to watch from Washington D.C. groups like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as well as groups like Emily's List.

But still it's high mountain to climb, even though Pinellas County has increasingly become more Democratic in party registration in recent years. The crucial factor that hurts Ehrlich is the institutional support Young has received from Democrats over the decades.

Her campaign has also been rocked this month by revelations that she inflated her resume. Ehrlich has denied that charge, as explained to the Times' Craig Pittman last week (the "inflation" was in regards to whether she worked under a specific committee under former Congressman Clay Shaw, as opposed to working for Shaw on various issues).

And in perhaps a nod to the fact that his competition is stronger than he's used to, Young blew some minds weeks ago when he announced that he now believes the Afghanistan war is a lost cause, and now is calling for all U.S. troops to withdraw immediately.

Like some other incumbents, Young is also refusing to participate in any candidate debates or forums with his challenger as well, an issue that has angered activists who are advocating on Ehrlich's behalf this campaign season.

Not only has Pinellas County Congressman Bill Young won 21 straight elections, but only one time has his Democratic opponent been able to get more than 40 percent of the vote against him.

That was in 1992, when Karen Moffitt got 43 percent of the vote against the GOP heavyweight. Coincidentally, perhaps, that was the last time a Democrat even had the money or the audacity to run a television ad promoting their candidacy.

Today the campaign for Jessica Ehrlich, the 38-year-old attorney challenging Young next month, unveiled their first television ad of the campaign season.

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