Charlie Justice to challenge Bill Young for seat in Congress

04/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Tampa Bay area Democratic Sen. Charlie Justice has announced that he will step down next year to run for Congress in Florida’s 10th District, the congressional home of Bill Young for the past 38 years.

Justice was unavailable for comment. His campaign manager, Mitch Kates, did speak about his candidacy today with WMNF.

Young is 78 years old, and District 10, which covers Pinellas County from Dunedin down to St. Petersburg, did vote for Barack Obama last fall. But Daryl Paulson, a political science professor at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, says if the political institution that is C.W. Young decides to run for re-election next year, he believes he’ll win again.

Throughout this decade, rumors have circulated that Young has been ready to retire, but he has yet do it since first being elected to Congress in 1970, and has not made any comments recently indicating that to be the case.

Young did not raise any money for his re-election campaign in the financial first quarter, sparking some speculation about him not running next year. But he did take in more than $7,000 from interest and payment refunds, and as reports, he raised $15,000 during the same first quarter two years ago, only to coast to re-election.

Charlie Justice won his Senate Seat, which encompasses both Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, in a hotly-contested race against Republican Kim Berfield in 2006. Berfield won an equally bruising GOP primary against Frank Farkas that year as well.

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