Longest-serving House Republican to retire
October 9th, 2013
01:09 PM ET
9 years ago

Longest-serving House Republican to retire

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Bill Young of Florida, the longest-serving Republican member of the House, will not run for re-election in 2014, Harry Glenn, Young's chief of staff, told CNN.

The Tampa Bay Times was the first to report Young's retirement after the longtime congressman told his local paper that his family, the job and his health were all factors in his retirement.

"It's my time," Young told the Times in a phone interview. As to why he is retiring now, Young said, "I don't know that I would pick out one thing. It's a lot of things."

Among them, Young said, is his disappointment with congressional gridlock. "I'm a little disappointed. It seems there's too much politics. It's a different Congress," he told the Times.

Young, currently in his 22nd congressional term, was first elected to the House in November 1970. In total, after serving 10 years in the Florida State Senate and 43 years in the House, Young has spent more than half a century in elected office. He has served with a total of eight presidents.

During his tenure, Young has been heralded for his expertise on defense issues – and chaired both the full House Appropriations committee and its defense subcommittee during his time on Capitol Hill.

"Many of us have looked up to Bill as a mentor, friend and role model, and as a result, he is widely respected and admired among his colleagues," said Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in a statement.

Democrats, on the other hand, used Young's announcement to knock House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner for the current government shutdown and gridlock in Washington.

"The departure of the most senior House Republican should serve as a wake-up call to Speaker Boehner and House Republicans: if they continue to cave to the Tea Party's radical demands and threaten the country's financial stability, they will see even their own Members jump off their sinking ship," Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a release.

The congressman's retirement could have ramifications for control of the GOP dominated House in next year's midterm elections. The Democrats need to win back 17 Republican held seats to regain control of the chamber.

While Young grabbed 58% of the vote in his re-election last year, President Barack Obama won the district, carrying 52% of the vote. Obama also won the district in the 2008 election, grabbing 54% of the vote.

Before his retirement, two of the top non-partisan political handicappers, the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report, said Young was likely to keep his seat in 2014. But with word of Young's retirement, Cook is moving the district from "likely Republican" to "tossup" and Rothenberg tells CNN they are re-evaulting the race.

Republicans only have a slight partisan edge in the Tampa Bay-St. Pete area district, according to Cook, and it is expected that next year's race will bring out challengers from the left and the right.

As for what Young, 82, plans to do after he leave Congress in 2014, he told to the Times with a chuckle: "I guess I've got to get another job."

"I've served in the Congress but I've never made a lot of money," he said. "My financial situation isn't much different than when I came to Congress."

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story

Filed under: 2014 • Florida • House
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Among them, Young said, is his disappointment with congressional gridlock. "I'm a little disappointed. It seems there's too much politics. It's a different Congress," he told the Times.
    "A Different Congress?" Wait a second. MoJoe tells us every morning that it's no different from any other Congress, or what any other president has had to face. He always talks about how Reagan and Tipper would be the worst of enemies all day long, but the best of friends after 6 pm.

    I guess MoJoe has forgotten all about Pres. Obama inviting House Minority Leader Boehner to the White House so that they could be best buddies and kick the smoking habit together. Boehner declined.

    October 9, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    One less egg to fry.

    October 9, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    This is from Wikipedia... "Young has supported over $70 million in combined earmarks to two companies which employ his sons, both before and after they were employees. Young's son, Patrick, was employed by defense contractor SAIC when the company reportedly benefited from earmarks".

    Nice... Another Republican rat who cares nothing about the poor and middle class, but will do ANYTHING to feather the nests of his family, himself and major corporations.

    October 9, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Wow...43 years late.

    October 9, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    October 9, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. boungiorno

    good luck, and remember that you went through trials and errors and GOD is the ALPHA & OMEGA and said he would come like a theif in the night!

    October 9, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. TONE

    Bye, and good riddance

    October 9, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Consider your resignation ACCEPTED.

    October 9, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Romney is STILL NOT My Hero

    Good-bye forever! A long list of your kind will be headed out the door right behind you – either of their own will or be ousted by the whole country next year.

    October 9, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. kirk

    You still here, beat it, one less root to pull.

    October 9, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. kirk

    Best to save face and leave under these circumstances, of wait to get thrown out with all the rest.

    October 9, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    He looks embalmed.

    October 9, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Malory Archer

    I used to vote for this jerk every time he was up for reelection. However, after he told a told a constituent in a really derogatory and hateful manner to “get a job” after the man asked for his thoughts last year on a bill that would raise the minimum wage – at a public event no less, he's done.

    October 9, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. Gary

    So if your old, senile and retire but you already live in Florida, where do you go?

    October 9, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    It's your time now? It should have been your time 20 years ago.
    Is there a prod holding him up? The only good thing is that he might be replaced by some teatard. It IS Florida, the gunshine state, after all. The state where senior voted for their present governor who was milking Medicare.
    Not to worry he has the best healthcare insurance and pension taxpayers' money can give him.
    He'll be fine.

    October 9, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Here's hoping that he votes his concience, instead of his party, for the rest of the ride.

    October 9, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. What's in that tea anyway?

    Someone should thank you for your service if you did one thing to help the american people, but given what your party is doing today, far be it from me to offer those well wishes. I'll just say adios

    October 9, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Wake up People!

    Dominican Mama made me spit Coke everywhere as she said......

    He looks embalmed!!!
    Lady you made me snort Coca-Cola!!! I am ROFLMAO!!

    October 9, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. TONE

    He looks like someone either heading or just came out of the grave.

    October 9, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Wake up People!

    Dude should be the poster child for Term Limits.

    October 9, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |