Rep. Bill Young's widow to former Gov. Charlie Crist: Stay away

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 06: Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist speaks on stage during the final day of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 6, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The DNC, which concludes today, nominated U.S. President Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong

Beverly Young, the widow of the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., has warned former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to stay away from the memorial service, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

The 82-year-old Young died Friday at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he was being treated for back problems related to a 1970 plane crash. Just over a week earlier he had announced from his hospital bed that he would not seek reelection.

"Your presence at my husband's memorial services will be unacceptable. I have watched over the years, as Bill had, your transparent attempts to manipulate the political arena. I don't want my husband's memorial service to be another opportunity for that and I will not tolerate anyone turning this into a platform for political gain, Young's wife wrote in an email to Crist, according to the Times.

At her husband's instruction, she also instructed two local Democrats who ran against her husband not to come to the memorial service.

Adam C. Smith, the Times political editor, said it was not immediately clear why there was so much animosity between the two men. But, he wrote, "some Young allies were turned off with the way Crist in 2009 held a cattle call of sorts, summoning Young and other potential candidates for Crist to appoint to the unfinished term of U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez. Young showed up looking in sneakers and baggy polo, as if Crist had interrupted his lawn mowing, and told a surprised Gov. Crist he had no interest in the appointment."

Crist, who was a Republican during his time as governor, announced in December 2012 that he would bejoining the Democratic Party.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for