Emily’s List backs Alex Sink in key special election

October 31, 2013
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2010 file photo, Alex Sink, speaks during a gubernatorial debate in Miami. Sink announced Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2-13 that she will move to Pinellas County and run for the congressional seat that had been held by U.S. Rep. Bill Young. Young died earlier this month. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File) Alex Sink (J. Pat Carter/AP)

Emily's List, the Democratic women's group which previously promoted the candidacy of attorney Jessica Ehrlich in a key congressional race in Florida, endorsed former gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink over Ehrlich on Thursday.

Emily's List cleansed its Web site of allusions to Ehrlich's 2014 candidacy shortly after Sink got in the race this week. Sink, the state former chief financial officer, joined the race after Rep. Bill Young's (R-Fla.) death paved the way for a special election, which will be held March 11.

The endorsement was the latest example of national Democratic groups closing ranks around Sink. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has also made little secret of its preference.

Emily's List's backing is more interesting, though, given its previous support for Ehrlich.

"Alex Sink has an outstanding record of public service and business leadership, and she’ll be ready to use her experience to fight for Florida in Congress from the day she takes office,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily's List.

Young's district is very competitive, but the longtime congressman held it with ease and defeated Ehrlich by 16 points in 2012. Because it's a swing district and a special election, it will be looked at as a potential bellwether for the 2014 election.

Sink fell narrowly to now-Gov. Rick Scott (R) in the 2010 governor's race and passed an a rematch this year.

For now, Sink and Ehrlich are set for a Jan. 14 primary.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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