What people are saying about C.W. Bill Young's retirement announcement

Jeb Bush (via Twitter): "Congressman Bill Young is an American patriot. We appreciate his service!"

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Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.: "I thank Bill Young for all of his years of dedicated public service. He was always someone who approached solutions in a bipartisan way. He will be missed."

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: "Floridians owe Bill Young a debt of gratitude for his 53 years of service to our state and country. Bill has fought tirelessly for the interests of Pinellas County, St. Pete and the Tampa Bay area in the state legislature and U.S. Congress by helping to strengthen our state's defense industry and creating thousands of jobs. Additionally, no one has fought harder for the servicemen and women in this country and for returning veterans than Bill and his wife, Beverly. Bill is a true statesman whose wisdom, commitment and expertise will be sorely missed in Congress. Jeanette and I wish Beverly and Bill all the best as they begin the next chapter of their life."

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House Speaker John Boehner: "Bill Young is the dean of the Florida congressional delegation, a tireless voice for our men and women in uniform and America's national security, and a dear friend. Since 1970, he has served with distinction in the People's House — and both the House and the people are better for it. I thank him for his service, and I will miss him."

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Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa: "I join our neighbors across the Tampa Bay area and Florida in lauding Congressman Bill Young's long-time service in Congress and his dedication to our community, especially his passion for our military members, veterans and their families. Congressman Young and his wife, Beverly, have left a tremendous legacy in not only advocating for MacDill Air Force Base and our war fighters, but also the families who provide our soldiers with the unwavering support and sacrifice they need to serve our country. He also has left his mark in numerous areas including the University of South Florida, Bay Pines Medical Center, St. Petersburg College, and Tampa Bay Water. It has been a privilege to serve alongside Congressman Young, who is one of the most honorable members of Congress ever to serve in the body."

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Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland: "I remember I first met Bill in 1981 when I was a legislative aide in Tallahassee. He was and continues to be one of the most respected people in the community and in Congress. Bill has devoted his life to public service, and has worked tirelessly for more than 40 years to represent Floridians in Washington, D.C. Cindy and I send our best wishes to Bill and Beverly."

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Rick Baker, former mayor of St. Petersburg: "He's been a remarkable public servant in every sense of the word. If we had 435 people like him up there Washington would be a lot better off. He has been singularly focused on what's best for our country and for our community. He is also a very humble man. I've never seen him ever talk to anybody like he thought he was any better than them."

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State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater: "He's been my idol ever since he's been in office. He's the kind of public official who epitomizes what public service should be. ... Look at his net worth. Bill Young never used his position for personal gain."

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Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch: "We're very much of a Democratic family, but I remember the first time I voted I asked my Dad who I should vote for, and he said, 'Bill Young.' That kind of showed me how special a person he is. ... I've been privileged to be the second generation in my family to work with him."

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn: "We have never had a better champion for the military and specifically for MacDill Air Force Base than we had in Bill Young. I understand why he wants to retire, but I don't know that we could ever replace him. ... I say this as a Democrat. I always supported Bill Young in spite of what my party wanted because I knew how good he was for this community and I knew what would have happened to MacDill Air Force Base had he not been there fighting for us."

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Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist: "Congressman Young has been a fixture in this community virtually my entire life and he has served his constituents with dignity. Carole and I wish Bill and Beverly nothing but the best in a well deserved retirement."

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Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami: "It has been a great privilege to serve with Bill in Congress. His determined work for his constituents, military families, Tampa Bay, and Florida are well-known and admired. He is a wealth of information and someone many turn to for advice and needed perspective. I will miss his valued contributions to our delegation and the Congress. Bill is a consummate gentleman and public servant, his legacy is one of service and dedication to Florida."

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Lenny Curry, chairman of Republican Party of Florida: "I want to congratulate Congressman C.W. Bill Young on an extraordinary, five-decade career in public service for Florida. After starting his political career in the Florida State Senate from 1961 to 1970, Young has now honorably served in the U.S. House of Representatives for over 40 years and is currently the longest-serving Republican member of Congress. Congressman Young always stood up for the Sunshine State and fought for the best interest of all Floridians. The Republican Party of Florida and I thank him for his dedication to his constituents and wish him well in the next chapter of his life."

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Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of National Republican Congressional Committee: "For the past 50 years, Bill Young has been a terrific and tireless public servant for the people of Florida. Whether as a Florida State Senator or Member of Congress, Bill has worked each and every day to improve the lives of his constituents. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Bill has been committed to improving the lives of servicemen and women across our country, and we are forever grateful for his commitment. Many of us have looked up to Bill as a mentor, friend and role model, and as a result, he is widely respected and admired among his colleagues. As he and his family enter the next chapter of their lives, I wish them nothing but the best and thank him for his service."

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Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of DCCC: "The departure of the most senior House Republican should serve as a wake-up call to Speaker Boehner and House Republicans: if they continue to cave to the tea party's radical demands and threaten the country's financial stability, they will see even their own members jump off their sinking ship. In 2014, the voters in Florida's 13th district will have the chance to elect a problem-solving Democrat in this competitive district that twice elected President Obama."

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Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee (via Twitter): "Thank you to the GOP's longest serving member Rep. Bill Young for your extraordinary service. Enjoy retirement, you will be missed!"

What people are saying about C.W. Bill Young's retirement announcement 10/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 9:22pm]

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