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.
What We're Following See More »
The four Senators released a joint statement, saying in part, "There are provisions in this draft that repreesnt an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs."
"President Trump will meet with the International Olympic Committee Thursday amid a battle between Los Angeles and Paris for the right to host the 2024 games. The meeting at the White House will come roughly three months before members of the IOC vote on which of the two cities will welcome the Olympics during what could be the final year of Trump's presidency, should he win re-election. Trump has remained largely silent on whether he plans to fight for the U.S. to receive the games in 2024."
Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon, "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings."
"The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least one successful attempt to alter voter information, and the theft of thousands of voter records that contain private information like partial Social Security numbers. ... Congressional investigators are probing whether any of this stolen private information made its way to the Trump campaign. ... The House Intelligence Committee plans to seek testimony this summer from Brad Parscale, the digital director of the Trump campaign."