Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Names continue to pop in and out of race to replace U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young

U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young announced plans to retire from politics Wednesday. He was Florida’s longest serving member of Congress.

JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times (2012) 

U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young announced plans to retire from politics Wednesday. He was Florida’s longest serving member of Congress.

The likeliest Republicans to jump into the race to succeed outgoing U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young in 2014 so far appear to be former Pinellas County Commissioner Neil Brickfield and former Young aide David Jolly.

"I'm leaning more for running than against," said Brickfield, who lost his County Commission seat last year after backlash against him for voting to remove fluoride from the county water system.

"I'll never vote against fluoride again. I've certainly learned my lesson, and I've been thinking about it long and hard for a year," said Brickfield, brushing off the suggestion that his 2012 loss could raise doubts about his strength in 2014.

"I've run four countywide elections," he noted. "Why wouldn't I be as good a candidate as anyone else?"

Jolly, 40, a lobbyist and former general counsel to Young, is likely to open an exploratory account next week. He would bring extensive Washington political and fundraising contacts to a campaign.

Meanwhile, two potentially formidable Democratic contenders, County Commissioner Ken Welch and former state House Speaker Peter Wallace, took themselves out of the running Friday.

"That's not a race I am going to run," Wallace said.

In a Facebook message Welch referred to the recent death of his father, former St. Petersburg City Council member David Welch: "This is an important time of healing and transition for my family. My focus is on my family and my current duties as a Pinellas County commissioner and chairman. I offer my sincere thanks to my friends and supporters, with the knowledge that for everything there is a season, an appointed time and a purpose."

Lawyer Jessica Ehrlich already is running for the Democratic nomination, and with Young's retirement other potential primary rivals include County Commissioners Charlie Justice and Janet Long.

"It's something that we're considering," Justice said. "The first thing is do you want the job, do you want to go through the campaign, do you want to work with the Congress that's there now? And on the personal level: the travel, the time away from family, that's a huge consideration. And the third thing is I'm really enjoying the commission and some of the things we're able to get done."

Long sounded more ambivalent: "I used to talk about one day running for Congress and then as you get older, you think, 'Oh, well.' "

Young's retirement "changes the complexities of politics in Pinellas County, or has the potential to anyway," she said.

Other well-known Republicans who could mount strong campaigns include Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, and County Commissioner Karen Seel. Young's son, Bill Young II, is also looking at the race, and GOP consultant Nick Zoller is expected to run, too.

"I have some people that are honoring me with their support. I think it's long been known that I was interested in serving at a national level," Seel said.

Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby is also running.

Names continue to pop in and out of race to replace U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young 10/11/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 11, 2013 11:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. With Vegas in mind, officers conduct active shooter training at Tampa International Airport

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Black marked the dead.

    After everyone ran away and was cleared out, two people remained on the ground, playing dead between baggage carousels nine and 10. Firefighters tied black ribbons around their wrists during triage, a quick way to tell other first responders not to waste time on them. Luggage …

    Mock "active shooter" D.J. Colestock, corporal with the Tampa International Airport police, is apprehended by TIA police officer Tom Olsen, right, on Wednesday  during an active shooter training exercise at the airport in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  2. Dirk Koetter, not Jameis Winston, has to make the call


    “Touchdown” Tom Jones, the best Bucs columnist in town, htook it to the house Tuesday when he wrote that Jameis Winston should do the right thing and take a seat if he’s not perfectly healthy to play at Buffalo.

    Whether Jameis Winston plays Sunday or not is Dirk Koetter's call.
  3. This is no time for Jameis Winston to play hero


    Don't be a hero, Jameis.

    Do the right thing. Do what's best.

     Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sits on the bench during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) 700070683
  4. NBA off and running to its usual ending


    The NBA season began Tuesday night.

    It ends in June.

    Call me when the Warriors win.

    True, there was news Tuesday night, bad news, grisly news, as Celtics small forward and newcomer Gordon Hayward dislocated his ankle and broke his tibia in a look-away injury early in Boston’s opener at LeBron.

    Call me when the Warriors win, Martin Fennelly writes.
  5. It's time for the Dodgers to be back in the World Series


    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 29 years since the Los Angeles Dodgers made the World Series. That’s far too long. I still remember being at Chavez Ravine for the 1988 World Series, watching Kirk Gibson homer into the right field stands to beat the Oakland A’s in Game 1.

    Been a long …

    The Los Angeles Dodgers congratulate each other after beating the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series