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Bill Young’s Fundraising Restarts Retirement Watch

Updated: 3:07 p.m.

Twenty-one-term Florida Rep. Bill Young raised just $8,700 in the second quarter, setting up speculation that the 80-year-old Republican might be headed for retirement.

At the end of June, Young had $147,000 in cash on hand, according to his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Young’s chief of staff, Harry Glenn, did not respond directly to a question about whether the Congressman would retire, but he pointed Roll Call to a recent St. Petersburg Times article. The story suggests Young “won’t say if he’ll run for another term; he never does this early.”

By comparison, Young raised $50,000 in the second quarter of 2009 and had $438,000 in cash on hand at the end of June of that year. In the first quarter this year, Young raised $59,000.

Young has long been considered a potential retiree.

“The Bill Young Retirement Watch is an annual event that never happens,” Florida Democratic strategist Mitch Kates told Roll Call. “If I had a dollar for every time I heard from ‘a close source to Bill Young’ that he is retiring, I’d have the money to run a very substantial campaign.”

Democrats in the state have several politicians who might run. They say former state Sen. Charlie Justice, who lost to Young in 2010 with only 34 percent of the vote, is likely to run for the seat again. They also mention state Rep. Rick Kriseman, former State Rep. Janet Long and Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth Welch as potential candidates.

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