OUTSIDE ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- Pinellas County residents were left with unanswered questions when Jessica Ehrlich, the Democratic opponent for U.S. House District 13, walked off stage at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom Thursday night.
Rep. C.W. Bill Young was absent from the Meet the Candidates Forum, but did have a representative. His son, Billy Young, stood in his place. The Gulfport Democratic Club and St. Petersburg Republican Club allowed all candidates and representatives to speak at this year's debate; a first for forum organizers in Gulfport.
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 to see Ehrlich respectfully remove herself from the forum in response to Rep. Young's absence.
Update: 1:30 p.m. Gulfport Patch has left a message with Rep. C. W. Bill Young's campaign and will follow up if our call is returned.
Update: 2:20 p.m.: Rep. C. W. Bill Young's campaign has returned our call and may provide Gulfport Patch with a statement.