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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill Young: 'I'm getting lobbied big time to run for re-election.'




Veteran Florida Congressman C.W. Bill Young will decide within a couple weeks whether to seek a 21st term but said today it's abundantly clear what others want him to do: "I'm getting lobbied big time to run for re-election."

"I go home almost every weekend and people I see at church, at the grocery store, at the gas station ... hardly ever do I not visit with someone who says, 'Please run again. We need you to run again.' Then of course, the (Republican) party."

"It makes you feel good that the people you represented for so long want you to stay on the job," Young said. He ruled out announcing anything during a Jan. 25 speech before the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg. (sorry Darryl Paulson)

There's good reason why Republicans want Young to run again. In an increasingly pessimistic climate for Democrats, Congressional District 10 would likely buck the trend if Young retires. Democrat Charlie Justice has been campaigning for a long time and is well known in the district.

Speaking of hometown politics, Young said little about Gov. Charlie Crist's loss to Marco Rubio in a straw poll of Pinellas County Republican activists Monday.

"I think it's the times were in," he said after a long pause. "People are really upset about the spending, about the size of the debt, they are really concerned about the growth of the government."

Does a straw poll in Pinellas suggest Charlie Crist is being written off?

"If that were me, I would have preferred to have one less straw poll," he said. "I don't know. The primary is what, 7 or 8 months away? Charlie is a good campaigner. Marco is a good campaigner. They will both run effective campaigns.

But you know when there was conversation about the governor appointing me to that (vacant U.S.) Senate position, I didn't want any part of that Senate campaign then and I don't want any part of it now."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:14pm]


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