Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) on Monday removed his name from consideration for the appointment to replace Sen. Mel Martinez (R), who is expected to resign by early next month.
The 20-term Congressman’s decision is sure to come as a relief to Republicans as a move by Young could have set off a special election battle in the competitive St. Petersburg-based 10th district.
Last week, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) added Young’s name to the short list of potential appointees, but Monday afternoon Young told the St. Petersburg Times, “I’m not a quitter.—
“I have the best job in the world, and I serve the best people in the world,— Young said, according to the newspaper.
Besides Young, Crist is considering nine others for the Senate appointment.
On Sunday, the governor’s office announced that former GOP Reps. Clay Shaw, Mike Bilirakis and Lou Frey had been asked to fill out questionnaires for the post. Crist’s office had previously requested information from former state Sen. Dan Webster (R), state Rep. Jennifer Carroll (R), former U.S. Attorney Roberto Martinez, lobbyist Jim Smith, former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney and former Broward Republican chairman George LeMieux, who previously served as Crist’s chief of staff.
The appointee will serve as a caretaker for the Senate seat since Crist is running for the job himself in 2010.
Frey was set to meet with the governor Monday evening and said he thinks the appointment decision should be made in a matter of days. Crist has said previously that he wants to fill the post by Sept. 8, when the Senate will return to business after the August recess.
“I do think that for the good of the state and the good of the country this has got to get resolved by this coming weekend,— Frey said Monday afternoon. “For those who haven’t been up there before it’s going to be difficult anyway and if you’ve been up there you’re still going to have to get some people and a staff. … And you’re going be right into the debate on health care and there’s going to be no breathing room and very little time to figure out what’s going on.—