Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday that he will retire in 2014, putting his Gulf Coast seat in play for the first time since he was elected in 1970.
Young, 82, has long been on Washington’s retirement watch list, and Wednesday’s announcement could open the door for a large field of Republican challengers given their first shot at the seat in decades. According to the Times and a national Republican source, a few of the possibilities include:
- Bill Young II: Young’s son, who is currently looking at running for the state legislature, but could change his mind to run for his father’s seat.
- Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker: Baker has been mayor of the city that lies just south of the district since 2001 and won reelection overwhelmingly in 2005.
- State Sen. Jack Latvala: Latvala represents the northern suburbs of St. Petersburg, at the southernmost tip of the district.
- Former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard: Hibbard has ties to the business community thanks to his work as a senior vice president for Morgan Stanley.
- State Rep. Dana Young (no relation): Young’s family has a long history in Florida politics. Her grandfather and uncle both served in the state legislature, and her father was an assistant secretary at the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.
- Pinellas County commissioners Karen Seel and John Morroni: Pinellas County covers the entire district. Morroni has suffered from non-Hodgkins lymphoma but said earlier this year that his health is improving to the point that he had been considering running for reelection next year.
Democrats have already recruited their 2012 nominee, attorney Jessica Ehrlich, who lost to Young last year by 15 points. With Young off the ballot, the district becomes much more competitive, giving Ehrlich a solid shot at claiming the seat this time around. President Obama actually won the district last year by a 1.5-point margin.
But Democrats have performed well in the district in off-year elections as well. A national Democratic source pointed to former CFO Alex Sink’s win there in her 2010 gubernatorial race, noting that she won the district with 51 percent of the vote, despite losing statewide.
The district is also part of former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist’s home base. Crist is widely expected to run as a Democrat for governor next year, and with his name at the top of the ballot, Democrats could see a boost in turnout.
Those numbers could have other Democrats considering getting into the race. Ehrlich already has the backing of EMILY’s List and has been touted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as a top recruit. But Ehrlich raised just $154,000 during the second quarter of this year; her third-quarter report is due by Oct. 15. With Young out of the race, a Democrat with a stronger fundraising base could jump into the contest.
- 1 Clinton Wins Debate, But Did She Win Over Voters?
- 2 Outlook: A Final Showdown Before Shutdown Deadline
- 3 Senate Progressives Look to Flex Muscles in 2017
- 4 The District Where Democrats Want a Gun-Control Debate
- 5 Smart Ideas: The Most Important Election of a 96-Year-Old’s Lifetime; Clinton’s Pitch to Millennials
What We're Following See More »
At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.
Donald Trump, when pressed by Lester Holt on why he finally admitted that President Obama was born in America, repeated his widely debunked claim that it was started by Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton went point by point on how race can so often determine the treatment that people receive, mentioning recent shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, calling for restored trust between communities and police, and demanding criminal justice reform. Trump responded by calling for law and order and touting his endorsements from police unions. He then said that “African Americans are living in hell,” saying they are just walking down the street and getting “shot ... being decimated by crime."
Just as Hillary Clinton was inviting debate viewers to visit her site for real-time fact checking, there appeared to be a problem with Donald Trump's own campaign website. For about a 15-minute period, a blank page or an error message appeared when we tried to load the Trump site.
Donald Trump has come out in the first segment of this debate raring to go. Trump has interrupted nearly every answer being given by Hillary Clinton, talking over her time and again. Clinton is sticking to her guns, smiling while Trump speaks and then calling on people to go to her website and see the fact checking being done.