U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday he won’t seek re-election next year. Among the Democrats who might run to replace him is Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch.
Here are three quick reasons why Welch is likely to run for Congress next year.
1. Welch wants to serve in Congress. If you’ve spoken at length with Welch about his political future, as I have, he has always said he wants to serve in D.C. Few of the contenders for Young’s seat are as open to working in Washington as Welch.
2. Thanks to legislation passed by then state lawmaker Charlie Justice, Welch does not have to resign-to-run for Congress. He can still serve on the County Commission while running in CD 13.
3. It’s probable — just probably, not yet likely — that Rick Kriseman will knock off Bill Foster in St. Petersburg’s mayoral race. With Kriseman in City Hall, Welch is locked-out of running for Mayor of St. Pete in 2017. With that option off the table, running for Congress is more likely for Welch.