A fixture of Florida politics has announced his intention to retire. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, the longest-serving Republican in Congress, will step down when his 22nd term ends next year.
Young, 82, has represented parts of Florida's west coast in the House of Representatives since 1971 and is known best for his six-year role as chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations where he focused on military spending.
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Young cited his health and a desire to spend more time with his family as reasons for his retirement.
It wasn't long before comments from Young's colleagues on both sides of the aisle began to come in.
"Congressman Bill Young is an American patriot. We appreciate his service!" tweeted former governor Jeb Bush.
"...Bill has fought tirelessly for the interests of Pinellas County, St. Pete and the Tampa Bay area in the state legislature and U.S. Congress by helping to strengthen our state's defense industry and creating thousands of jobs. Additionally, no one has fought harder for the servicemen and women in this country and for returning veterans than Bill and his wife, Beverly. Bill is a true statesman whose wisdom, commitment and expertise will be sorely missed in Congress," stated Sen. Marco Rubio.
"It has been a privilege to serve alongside Congressman Young, who is one of the most honorable members of Congress ever to serve in the body," Congresswoman Kathy Castor offered.
"I thank Bill Young for all of his years of dedicated public service," U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said in a press release. "He was always someone who approached solutions in a bipartisan way. He will be missed."
"I remember I first met Bill in 1981 when I was a legislative aide in Tallahassee. He was and continues to be one of the most respected people in the community and in Congress. Bill has devoted his life to public service, and has worked tirelessly for more than 40 years to represent Floridians in Washington, D.C.," Rep. Dennis Ross said.
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