Congressman C.W. “Bill” Young (R) has passed away at the age of 82, after being admitted earlier in the week to Walter Reed Medical Center for a back injury. The Army National Guard veteran, who dropped out of High School, and worked his way up corporate America, was the longest-tenured Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was well-known for his staunch advocacy for everything military.
Young, whose congressional district is comprised by many military retirees, has recently announced that he would be retiring, prompting Republicans to wonder who would be able to pick up where Young left off. Many Republicans feel that a candidate with a military background would have to replace Young, considering that only ten percent of the members of Congress have military experience.
Former Charlie Crist Republican and Florida State Senator Jack Latvala, has taken himself out of the running as a possible replacement for Young. His colleague in the Florida Senate, Jeff Brandes, who does have a military background, has also taking his name out of consideration for the now open congressional seat.
But political operatives are questioning whether moderate Republicans like Brandes and Latvala could counter a grassroots campaign from a conservative military veteran that does not have ties to someone as detested by Republicans as Charlie Crist.Word on the street is that Republicans are sitting on the fence, waiting to see if former Florida CFO, Democrat Alex Sink, jumps into the race. If Sink gets in the race, it is believed that the establishment-type Republicans would not challenge her.