The longest-serving Republican member of the U.S. Congress, Rep. Bill Young announced Wednesday, Oct. 9, that he is not running for reelection in 2014.
Charles William Young, 82, of Indian Shores has served Florida’s 13th Congressional District since 1971.
The 13th Congressional District is the only district in Florida contained entirely within one county, according to information on the Congressman’s website. It includes all of Pinellas County south of Clearwater except for precincts in south St. Petersburg, which are part of the Tampa-based 14th District.
“As Florida’s longest serving Congressman, we appreciate Congressman Bill Young’s more than 50 years of service to Florida families,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a press release. “Throughout his career, Congressman Young has fought to make sure Washington acted in the best interests of the brave men and women who serve in our military. His unwavering dedication to Pinellas County and the Sunshine State will be missing in Washington.”
Young served 10 years in the Florida State Senate and 42 in the U.S. Congress.
Young has been a strong advocate for Pinellas County, taking on local issues, including the congestion on U.S. 19. His website points to his work to attract high-tech jobs to St. Petersburg; improve health care for low-income children and families; protect the neighboring MacDill Air Force Base; build a state of the art medical center for veterans at Bay Pines; ensure a steady supply of water for the Tampa Bay area; and offset the effects of erosion on the area's beaches.
Young was born in Harmarville, Pa., and moved to Pinellas County at the age of 15. Congressman Young and his wife Beverly have three adult sons, Rob, Billy, and Patrick.
“Floridians owe Bill Young a debt of gratitude for his 53 years of service to our state and country,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said in a statement released shortly after Young’s announcement. “Bill has fought tirelessly for the interests in Pinellas County, St. Pete and the Tampa Bay area in the state legislature and U.S. Congress by helping to strengthen the state’s defense industry and creating thousands of jobs. Additionally, no one has fought harder for the servicemen and women in this country and for returning veterans than Bill and his wife, Beverly. Bill is a true statesman whose wisdom, commitment and expertise will be sorely missed in Congress. Jeanette (Rubio’s wife) and I wish Beverly and Bill all the best as they begin the next chapter of their life.”