Charlie Justice announced he would not seek the House seat held by the late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young.
In an email released today, the Pinellas County Commissioner told supporters “the time was simply not right” to seek the now-vacant Florida’s 13th Congressional District seat.
Justice had faced the nation’s longest serving Republican in the past, earning him of the distinction of being one of the three politicians disinvited to Young’s public funeral Thursday by the congressman’s widow.
In 2010, Young defeated Justice for re-election to the House of Representatives with nearly 66 percent of the vote. Justice also served the Florida House from 2001-2007, before moving to the state Senate. He resigned his seat to run for Congress.
Justice then ran for the Pinellas County seat, winning against Nancy Bostock in 2012.
In the text of Justice’s email, he said:
Thank you to so many supporters who have encouraged me to seek election to our now open Congressional Seat. I appreciate the faith and confidence that so many have expressed.
If this was six years ago or six years from now, I might have a different answer but today I have to say no. The time is simply not right for me and my family.
The ten years I spent serving in the State Legislature were incredibly rewarding. That fact has made this decision extremely difficult.
However my time with my family is precious and I currently have the honor of serving as your County Commissioner. We’ve had a great first year focusing on bringing jobs to Pinellas, enhancing public health, stabilizing our budget forecast, and planning for improvements to flood control and water quality.
Being able to be in public service and not have to sacrifice time with my family is an incredible gift. One that I am so grateful for and one that I don’t take for granted.
Perhaps Tallahassee or Washington will be the right place for us one day down the road, but for us, for now, there’s no place like home.