Bill Young's widow turns on his successor

The widow of former congressman Bill Young (R-Fla.) says she she no longer supports her husband's successor, Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.), because the lawmaker dismissed members of her husband's congressional staff.

“No, I won’t support him,” Beverly Young told local television network News Channel 8.

“He’s made a mockery out of my husband’s life and his legacy,” Young added, accusing Jolly of dumping "the people who made his legacy what it is."

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In an separate email obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, Young insinuated that Jolly had reneged on a deathbed assurance to her husband to keep his staff on board.

"When David Jolly met with Bill a couple days before he died they discussed Davids run for Bills seat. Bill told David he assumed he would win. He told David he would be smart to keep his staff, at least half of them so the transition would be smooth but also because they are part of the reason he had his job for 50 years," Young wrote. "David told him he would keep them at least for a month except for maybe two."

Beverly Young became a political lightning rod during the special election to fill her husband's seat. 

The window notably told former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist she did not want him to attend her husband's funeral, and accused Jolly's opponent — Democrat Alex Sink — of feeding reporters a story about how her husband had kept his previous family a secret.

Young also appeared in campaign advertisements for Jolly and criticized her son for backing another primary opponent. 

In a statement to News Channel 8, Jolly communications director Preston Rudie disputed Young's account.

“Congressman Jolly has great respect for Mrs. Young and considers her a friend," Rudie said. "Congressman Jolly has assembled a team that he believes can best serve the people of Pinellas County and that can continue the level of constituent service that Mr. Young was so rightfully known for. Congressman Jolly did not make any staffing decisions nor speak with staff candidates prior to his election on March 11.”  

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