Democrats missed the boat in Florida’s 13th District this year, but they might have an option to challenge Rep. David Jolly (R) next cycle in Beverly Young, the widow of the district’s former representative, Rep. Bill Young (R).
“I’d do it now if I could. If I’d known that the Democrats wouldn’t put anyone up on that ballot, I’d have been there myself this time. I thought they had a candidate. I wouldn’t have been ready. But I would have run anyway," she said.
"This county just can’t fall to lobbyists and their deceit and manipulation. I’m not going to just sit back and have all Bill’s hard work just trashed to inside the Beltway politics. Ugh.”
After suffering a loss in the special election to replace the late Bill Young earlier this year, Democrats pledged to front a candidate for November who would defeat Jolly. They were ultimately unable to find a recruit, however, and though the party touted the last-minute entry of an independent candidate into the race, he dropped out just weeks after announcing his bid, leaving the party without a challenger for Jolly.
Though Beverly Young previously endorsed Jolly in his bid for the seat, the two have since had a falling out and no longer speak, due to what she’s said has been his mistreatment of her husband’s former staffers.
She said that she’s “not a politician,” but she believes “that the person in there now is doing a terrible job.”
And she expressed frustration at the way Republicans in Congress have treated her since her husband’s death. Young said that following her husband’s expensive funeral and a delay in receiving his benefits, she was hurting for money last year and after writing to 10 congressmen for help, only two responded.
“I told them I really needed that money. I was getting panicky. I told them, `I’m not okay.’ Bill had been in office for 43 years, it wasn’t like they didn’t know who I was. I called the Speaker of the House four times. He never returned my calls,” she said. “So I called Nancy Pelosi and told her, `I’m in trouble.’ By the end of the day, she had all the agencies calling me. She’s the only one that made that happen.”