Pinellas County residents were surprised when Congressman C.W. Bill Young announced Oct. 9 that he would not be seeking reelection in 2014.
But that was nothing in comparison to the reaction from news reports on Thursday that said the Indian Shores resident had died.
Young, 82, is “gravely ill,” but reports of his death are without truth, officials said.
“Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s condition turned for the worse overnight and he is gravely ill,” according to a statement from his family released on Thursday. “His doctors say his prognosis is guarded.”
Young recently had surgery on his back.
Calls to the Congressman’s office on Friday revealed nothing new on his condition.
Statements on many local officials' Facebook pages say they are praying for Young’s recovery. Many include a thank you for his service.
Charles William “Bill” Young is the longest-serving Republican member of the U.S. Congress. He has served Florida’s 13th Congressional District in the House of Representatives since 1971. The 13th Congressional District is the only one in the state that is contained within one county. It includes all of Pinellas except for precincts in south St. Petersburg.
Young has been a strong advocate for Pinellas County. He served 10 years in the Florida State Senate and his 42 years in the U.S. Congress. He is currently serving his 22nd term in Congress.