Talk about strong name recognition.
For over four decades, Pinellas voters regularly checked the box next to C.W. "Bill" Young's name when voting for Congress. Now the name returns in a bid for a state house seat later this year.
That would be Bill Young II, the eldest son born to Bill and Beverly Young, who announced this morning he will file to run for the Republican nomination for House District 68, the seat currently occupied by Democrat Dwight Dudley.
“I understand that voters in Pinellas County expect results," Young said in a statement. "They are tired of the gridlock they see in Washington and they are skeptical of Tallahassee. If I have the honor of being elected, my job will be to make sure Tallahassee keeps its focus on improving our economy, schools and transportation infrastructure. As someone who works in Business Development, I’ve seen firsthand the burdens that complicated regulations place on small businesses. I’ll work to cut the unnecessary regulations and streamline the necessary ones."
Young, 29, lives in Pinellas Park and currently works in Business Development at the National Forensic Science Technology Center, a Largo-based non-profit that assists the Justice and Defense communities through research, technology, and training.
Young II is the second Republican to file to run in HD68, after Joshua Black.
There were rumors that Young II was considering running for the Republican nomination for his father's seat last fall, but those rumors ended quickly when David Jolly entered the race, creating a fissure in the Young household.
Young's mother Beverly came out strongly in support of Jolly while Young II initially backed Kathleen Peters in the GOP CD13 primary. (Beverly has been out of the limelight however, since the Tampa Bay Times published an explosive story about Congressman Young's first family back in January).
HD68 encompasses much of St. Petersburg, Largo, and Pinellas Park, as well as portions of unincorporated Pinellas County and Clearwater. It's a swing-seat district, having been represented by both Republicans and Democrats in recent years. Democrats have a slight edge in party representation.
Young says he knows he needs to appeals to Democrats and independents to win the seat. “My father always said ‘You don’t win elections by excluding anyone,’ and those words have never been truer," he says."I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to have a positive impact on the lives of all Floridians."