Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young says he hasn't been offered Senate seat

Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday officially added U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young to the short list for the vacant Senate seat, but the Pinellas lawmaker said he is unsure about ending his career that way.

"Am I ready to be through at the end of the term? I feel good, I have a lot of energy and there is a lot of work to be done," said Young, who is 78 and was first elected to Congress in 1970.

Crist has to replace Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, who is leaving office 16 months before his term expires in 2010, citing a desire to be with family. Since the governor is running for the spot himself, he'll want to know the appointee will only serve temporarily.

In addition to Young, Crist also said Wednesday that he would consider his former chief of staff and close political adviser George LeMieux.

Others in the running: Former U.S. Attorney Roberto Martinez of Miami, former Secretary of State Jim Smith, former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney and state Rep. Jennifer Carroll, R-Jacksonville.

Crist seems to be adopting a geographic strategy, giving himself a range of options but also making sure not to alienate supporters in key parts of the state.

Young, R-Indian Shores, said Crist called him Saturday and they talked for 15 minutes about what kind of person should be appointed, but said the notion of Young filling it never came up.

"I told him that 'Whoever you appoint is going to be a reflection of how you will be perceived during the campaign,' " Young said. "You want somebody who will be pretty much what you will be" in the political spectrum.

Neither man broached the subject of Young possibly filling the seat, and Young hasn't talked to anyone else about the job, he said.

But Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer said Tuesday that Young was among those the governor was considering and people were pushing Young behind the scenes.

"The people of this county have been good to me for 50 years and I would be hard-pressed to give that up," said Young, who spoke after presenting medals to two World War II veterans at his Seminole office.

"The truth is that I don't know that I could do much more for the people of my district in the Senate than I could in the House,'' he said.

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Bilirakis, R-Tarpon Springs, said Young might be hesitant but a seat in the U.S. Senate would be a prestigious exit.

"It's kind of a reward for long service," Bilirakis said.

Bilirakis' name has surfaced as a candidate as well and GOP leaders in the Tampa Bay are pushing for his consideration. But Crist has not called.

Alex Leary can be reached at aleary@sptimes.com.

U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young says he hasn't been offered Senate seat 08/19/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.