Young wins 20th term, Hackworth concedes
Pinellas County's longtime congressman, Rep. C.W. Bill Young, was unscathed by anti-incumbent sentiment this year, leading his Democratic opponent by nearly 20 points.
Young won his 20th term in Congress with 61 percent of the vote. He acknowledged an anti-Republican sentiment nationwide but said he was perplexed by how the country seemed to favor Democratic congressional candidates even while they disapproved of the Democratic-controlled Congress.
"It is a very humbling experience to have this kind of support from people who know me so well," Young said. "I work hard at the job. I'm totally open and honest with what I do and I think even people who might disagree with me on issues appreciate the fact that I am what I am."
Dunedin Mayor Bob Hackworth claimed about 39 percent of the vote, a better performance than Young's challenger in 2006. But it was still short of the last serious challenge to Young. In 1992, Young won with 57 percent of the vote against Karen Moffitt, who took 43 percent.
"I really think we had the winning message, we just didn't have the resources to communicate," said Hackworth, who left a message at Young's campaign office congratulating him on the win. "It doesn't correlate to the national mood at all, I think. He just had that great name recognition after all those years."
Hackworth, the mayor of Dunedin, hoped to ride the change movement to Washington, telling voters they should oust the 38-year incumbent for a small businessman who would be more responsive and accountable. But he struggled to raise the money to get that message out. Young, meanwhile, ran a typically quiet campaign in which he attended community events and avoided a back-and-forth with his opponent.
--Stephanie Garry, Times Staff Writer