Give Jack Latvala credit for offering up one of the weightiest questions for today's political era.
"Who wants to be in a job that is rated less favorably than a cockroach?" the Republican state senator from Clearwater asked on Facebook Thursday, announcing he will not be among those running to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young.
Latvala, a seasoned political operative who has represented most of Young's district, would have immediately emerged as a frontrunner. Same goes for state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, who could personally fund a lavish campaign, but also took himself out of the mix Thursday.
"The decision is simple," he said. "I have a young family and think for now I can best serve our region in the Florida Senate."
Meanwhile, the prospect emerged of a campaign pitting the heirs of two giants in Florida politics: Republican Billy Young, the 29-year-old son of Rep. Young, and Democrat Ben Diamond, 35, the grandson of late U.S. Rep. Dante Fascell, who represented Miami-Dade from 1955 to 1993.
"Reading these stories about Congressman Young's retirement makes me think back to my granddad's retirement. There's a reason people call that generation the greatest generation," said Diamond, a lawyer and Clearwater native who served as general counsel to Alex Sink when she was chief financial officer and whose wife worked as the state Democratic Party's finance director.