Bill Young II Could Follow His Father to Congress
Around the State
The son also rises? Another political dynasty could be forming in Florida as Bill Young II ponders running for his father’s congressional seat.
Reflecting on the congressman’s age and more than four decades in Congress, it’s a bit of a surprise to realize the younger Young is only 29. But the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree and Young has taken to politics much like his father has.
Young has thrown his name in the mix to replace his father who is retiring from Congress where he’s served since 1971. Since the congressman announced he would not run for re-election next year, his son has taken to Twitter, retweeting articles hinting he could try to claim his father’s seat.
Still, Young has some choices to make. When his father appeared to be running again in 2014, Young started focusing on running for the Florida House seat currently held by Democrat Dwight Dudley. While his father has made a political career out of keeping his seat, even as his district often backs Democrats, Young would need to bring his A game to beat Dudley. Democrats have a slight edge in registration in Dudley’s district but Republicans can often have a hard time there. It’s pretty telling that Alex Sink beat Rick Scott there by almost 10 percent.
That being the case, Young might have more luck running for his father’s congressional seat. It’s a swing seat, to be sure, but while Democrats do well in it, there are more registered Republicans in the Pinellas County district. Add to the mix the series of big-name candidates -- Rick Baker, Jeffrey Brandes, Charlie Crist, Jack Latvala, Ken Welch -- who are showing no interest in running for the open congressional seat. Things are starting to fall in place for Young.
Even with some of the bigger names staying out, there are plenty of Republicans like David Jolly, Karen Seel and Nick Zoller who could run, and Beverly Young, the congressman’s wife, has also thrown her name out there. There are also plenty of candidates like Charlie Justice, Janet Long and Scott Wagman who could join Jessica Ehrlich in the Democratic primary.
But Young has his chance. As the congressman leaves the stage, he is being praised by the GOP, the media and even some Democrats. Being the son and namesake of the congressman can help Young considerably, especially in the short-term while his father continues to bask in the applause. Young might only be 29 but the stars are starting to align for him and he could be in for a long congressional career -- shades of his father? -- if he plays his cards right.
Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.