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KYC Election Guide

U.S. House, District 13

The Republican primary for the District 13 House race couldn't have a more intriguing setup: two tea party candidates with religious backgrounds, both running for the first time, trying to oust an incumbent who has been in Congress for more than four decades. C.W. Bill Young has never lost an election, and has always won by a landslide — but his challengers contend that this year he's vulnerable. The winner of this primary will face Democratic candidate Jessica Ehrlich — also a first-time campaigner — in the November general election. — Craig Pittman, Times staff writer

C.W. Bill Young, 81


Darren Ayres, 53


Madeline Vance, 78

Retired teacher

Party Republican Republican Republican
Experience Young, from Indian Shores, served 10 years in the Florida Senate before winning the 1970 race for Congress, and he has been there ever since, making him the House's longest-serving member. His specialty has been funneling money to hometown projects, some of which now bear his name, such as the C.W. Billl Young Reservoir in Hillsborough County. Young also likes to point out that it was while he chaired the House Appropriations Committee in 2001 that Congress passed its last balanced budget. He has built a reputation as a strong supporter of veterans and also helped found a federal bone marrow registry. However, an appearance in Treasure Island this year produced a gaffe seen nationwide when an activist asked him about raising the minimum wage and Young snapped, "Get a job." Ayres, who moved to a rented condo in Largo from a home in Land O'Lakes less than a year ago, has the most varied background in the race, having been everything from a military chaplain to a tour bus driver for the band Journey. He grew up on a farm in Kansas, managed a fast-food restaurant, served in the U.S. Air Force, coordinated volunteers for the Billy Graham Crusade, ran a tour bus business and from 2008 to 2011 he was a chaplain with the Florida National Guard. Although critical of Young, he also acknowledges owing him a debt. When Ayres and his wife were both in the Air Force and expecting their first child, Ayres got orders transferring him to another state. His mother-in-law, who lived here, called Young, who helped keep the couple together. The first line of Vance's official biography says: "I'm Madeline Massi Vance and I am madder than a 'wet hen.' " Vance, a first-time candidate who lives in a rented apartment in Clearwater, calls herself a "first-generation American" because her parents were both immigrants. She says she never reads newspapers and paid scant attention to politics until four years ago, when she started hearing things on TV that made her angry. That's why the religious book author and Bible college teacher is running for Congress. Vance, who retired in 2009, said Young should have stepped down years ago. Describing herself as "pro-life for the unborn" as well as "pro-life for those in a coma," Vance wrote, "I have concluded and I believe I was born for such a time as this." She also insisted that any story about her should say that she would never vote for anything against the Constitution.
Education Young dropped out of high school at 15 to work odd jobs and sell insurance. However, he has an honorary degree from the University of South Florida. Bachelor's degree in resource management from Troy State University, master's in Christian education from Midwestern Baptist University Vance says she has a bachelor's and master's degree from a Bible college, but refused to say where they are from and at one point hung up on a reporter for asking. She said it was "divisive."
Where do you stand on energy and the issue of drilling off Florida's coast? Young has long been a staunch opponent of drilling off Florida. It was his amendment to a supplemental appropriations bill in 1983 that established the first moratorium on drilling off the state's west coast. Young "believes that transitioning from imported oil to renewable, clean and domestic sources of energy is the best long-term strategy." Ayres supports an "all-of-the-above" approach to energy that includes coal and nuclear power — as well as drilling closer to the Florida coast than is currently allowed. However, he said, he would not be in favor of allowing rigs close enough to be within sight of the beaches because that might hurt tourism. Vance says she supports drilling for oil on land but turned against offshore drilling after she saw the consequences of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 oil rig workers and sent oil washing ashore from Louisiana to Florida. She said she supports wind power "if it has the proper equipment so it doesn't shut down and catch fire."
Where do you stand on the Affordable Care Act? On his website, Young says he "opposes government intrusion into Americans' health care, and voted consistently against the president's drastic overhaul which was signed into law earlier this year." "Medicare and Medicaid did not exist prior to the 1960s. With the advent of the federal government taking control and promising to pay for health care, the bureaucratic nonsense and the price have gone up. I support letting the health care industry compete for its customers in the marketplace." "I'm against it," Vance said. "The doctors are against it. The conservatives are against it. I don't think it has done right by the people. I don't know of anybody who had a problem with the companies they chose for their health care. It needs to be left that way."
What should the U.S. do about illegal immigra-
Young "supports state efforts to assist federal officials in the enforcement of federal immigration laws," he says on his website. "Young continues to oppose amnesty as a way of dealing with illegal immigration. " "I support a plan that gets the border under control. It's unrealistic to expect the American people to trust any plans until the massive flow of illegals is stopped. Stop the illegal immigration by any lawful means possible then discuss the case of those who are present." "Our borders leak like a sieve," Vance writes on her website. "The Mexicans … are determined to take back Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and the lower half of California. This is the purpose of why our borders are not secured."
What would you do about the federal deficit? "Congressman Young supports amendments to the Constitution that would require a balanced budget every year and place a cap on how much taxpayer money can be spent each year," he said on his website. "I support a plan that rolls spending back to 2007 levels. That would balance the annual budget with no tax increases. Then, after two years, I'd support a reduction in the size of government, and use the monetary savings to reduce the deficit." "My parents gave me a 25¢ weekly allowance and a ledger sheet to record every expenditure," Vance writes. "When I married, my husband depended on me to run our household budget the same way. We never borrowed money nor went into debt. If I can control my spending, so can our government. Consequently, I'm running as a Conservative and I will not vote on any bill that is not within our state's budget."
Assets Homes, bank and investment accounts House in Land O'Lakes, bank account, retirement account Bank account.
Liabilities Mortgage Mortgage on Land O'Lakes home None.
Income Congressional salary National Guard salary Retirement, book sales
Personal A native of Pennsylvania , Young is married with three grown sons. Born in Kansas, Ayres is married and has two grown sons Widowed with four grown children.
Website congressman
Email billyoung

U.S. House, District 13

U.S. House, District 13 07/28/12 [Last modified: Sunday, July 29, 2012 1:21am]
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