C.W. Bill Young's brother considers running for office

Published Oct. 24, 2013

Brother considers running for office

Retired construction company owner Tom Young, the 79-year-old brother of late Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, tells the Tampa Bay Times that he's seriously considering running for his brother's seat.

"I've had probably a hundred calls from people telling me I should do that," said Young, a Pinellas Park resident who said he understands how Washington works better than most people because of his brother.

Told the race could be a tad awkward if Young's son, Bill Young II, runs, he agreed: "It probably would be weird. Beverly could run, too," he noted, referring to Rep. Young's widow.

So maybe instead of just a Democratic and Republican primary to fill the seat, perhaps there ought to be a Young Family primary as well. It would include Billy (Bill Young II), Tom, Beverly, as well as Young's longtime district director, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, and Young's personal attorney and general counsel David Jolly.

Funeral program mixes tributes, music

An advance program for today's funeral outlines tributes in words and music for Rep. Young. From the processional God Bless the USA to the closing recessional Going Home, the program alternates between speakers and songs. The speaker lineup: House Speaker John Boehner; Gen. James F. Amos, the Marine Corps commandant; Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., No. 2 Democrat in House; Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J.; and Gordon England, former U.S. deputy secretary of defense and secretary of the Navy and deputy secretary of homeland security. Young's sons are also part of the program, along with Marine Lance Cpl. Josh Callihan.

House approves renaming Bay Pines

The U.S. House planned to vote Wednesday to rename Bay Pines VA Medical Center for Young but approved it Tuesday night by voice vote, meaning there was no objection. Now the bill awaits action by the Senate, which is not in session this week. Once approved, the new name will be the C.W. Bill Young Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Lawmakers continued to pay tribute to Young on Wednesday. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said on the House floor that funds for biomedical research doubled while Young was chairman of the Appropriations Committee. "A great leader has passed," Cohen said. "I was proud to know him."

On Wednesday night in Washington, the Center for Security Policy was to posthumously present Young with its 2013 Keeper of the Flame Award, given to those who "devote their public careers to the defense of freedom here at home and its expansion throughout the world."

Flags to be lowered

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has directed flags of the United States and Florida to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset today at all local and state buildings, installations and grounds throughout Florida "as a mark of respect for the memory" of Young.

"Young reached across the aisle to champion improvements in the sciences, public health, military readiness, the beaches, transportation, and access to drinking water." Scott wrote in a memorandum. "C.W. Bill Young embodied the ideals of public service, representing the citizens of Florida for almost 53 years."

Bush letter to be read

Former President George W. Bush will not attend Young's funeral today but he sent a letter that will be read at the funeral.

"Bill's contributions to our nation are many," Bush wrote in a letter to Young's wife, Beverly. "Perhaps most noteworthy was his devotion to our military. He was unrelenting in using his influence to support men and women in uniform. He knew that they deserved the best equipment and care our country could possibly offer. And he honored our veterans with the same devotion."

By Adam C. Smith and Alex Leary, Times Staff Writers