Republican former state Rep. Larry Crow has announced his candidacy for the congressional seat being vacated by C.W. Bill Young.
"I enter this race in a time when I believe the faith in our federal government is at its lowest point in my lifetime," the Palm Harbor lawyer said. "People want consistency and leadership, not gamesmanship. "
Crow, 53, was elected to the Florida House in 1994 and served four terms. "I stand for fiscal conservatism, protecting the environment, as well as protecting those less fortunate," he said.
In his announcement, Crow said he had helped create the Statewide Public Guardianship Office to help the mentally ill, led a drive to rid playgrounds of arsenic-treated wood and received the 2002 Legislator of the Year award from the Sierra Club.
But Crow will likely have to defend his representation of high-profile clients, including gambling interests and a voyeur website for people to watch women in a Tarpon Springs home.
Other potential Republicans looking at the seat include Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seel, former Pinellas County Commissioner Neil Brickfield, former Young general counsel David Jolly, and Young's son, Bill Young II.
Democratic St. Petersburg lawyer Jessica Ehrich announced her candidacy months before Young's announcement. Other Democratic prospects include former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Pinellas Commissioners Charlie Justice and Janet Long.