Longest-serving Florida GOP Congressman Bill Young 'gravely ill'

MIAMI Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:13pm EDT

Related Topics

MIAMI (Reuters) - Barely a week after announcing his retirement, Representative Bill Young of Florida, the longest-serving Republican member of Congress, is "gravely ill" according to a statement released on Thursday by his family.

Young, 82, who represents a Florida west coast district including the cities of Clearwater and part of St. Petersburg, announced on October 9 that he would not run for re-election in 2014 due to poor health and because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Young also expressed disappointment over the current political deadlock in Congress in an interview last week with the Tampa Bay Times.

A former chairman of the powerful U.S. House Appropriations Committee who still chairs the Defense subcommittee, Young had been recuperating from a back injury at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

"U.S. Rep. C. W. Bill Young's condition turned for the worse overnight and he is gravely ill. His doctors say his prognosis is guarded," the Young family said in a statement released by the congressman's staff.

The announcement of his retirement prompted warm words from both parties in Congress, with Democrats hailing his bipartisan approach to political solutions.

Young opposed the Republican leadership over the government shutdown and said last week he was prepared to vote for a budget resolution that included funding for the Obama administration's controversial health-care reform law.

Due to his deteriorating health. Young's staff said he was unable to cast a vote to reopen the government Wednesday night.

His retirement opens up a Republican seat in Congress for what could be a tight race in 2014 in a district that is favorable to Democrats. The district was won by President Barack Obama in the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012.

(Reporting By David Adams; editing by Gunna Dickson)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
Wanda517 wrote:
Congressman Young,
While I may not agree with you on many political issues, I recognize how much you have done for Pinellas County, Florida and the Country. Thank you for your 42 plus years of service.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Oct 17, 2013 6:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.