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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Meet Mark Bircher, another Republican trying to win C.W. Bill Young's congressional seat



Mark Bircher gets it.

Or at least he's starting to.

Bircher, a candidate to fill U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young's congressional seat, has lived a fascinating life, steeped in achievement. He is a Naval Academy graduate, a lawyer, an airline pilot, a retired Marine Corps Reserve brigadier general and a former Blue Angel pilot who was once featured in a Van Halen music video.

But you probably knew none of that. And Bircher gets it — what you don't know about him is a problem.

To illustrate his understanding, he quoted 18th century English poet Thomas Gray (from memory): "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air."

People who don't know him might think he has thrown his name into the political hat on a whim, but those people would be wrong. Bircher, 60, has no desire to be a desert flower.

He even put up $10,400 of his own money to file for the job.

"I'm smart enough to know politics isn't about standing in the corner," he said, "and hoping people discover you."

Full story here.

[Last modified: Sunday, December 1, 2013 4:27pm]


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