The widow of Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young has written to former Florida
Gov. Charlie Crist to tell him he's not welcome Thursday at her husband's memorial service, where public figures and dignitaries will be in attendance.
"This email is to officially advise you that your presence at my husband's memorial services will be unacceptable," Beverly Young wrote in an email to the former Republican governor, who is expected to run as a Democrat in next year's gubernatorial race, The Miami Herald reported.
"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," she wrote.
The Florida congressman died Friday in Bethesda, Md., at age 82. He was the longest-serving Republican member
of the House, having spent 43 years in Washington.
The Herald said it was unclear Tuesday whether there was a rift between the Youngs and Crist or what caused Bill Young to dislike Crist. But Beverly Young apparently told the newspaper she was simply trying to honor her husband's last wishes.
The Herald pointed out that she also sent similar emails to two of her husband's previous Democratic challengers: Charlie Justice and Jessica Ehrlich.
"Bill specifically said he didn't want his memorial service to be a platform for local politicians to work the crowds. He's right. It's not only wrong, it's disgusting to see that happen," the Herald quoted her as saying.
"He gave me the names of the people he wished wouldn't show up, that was just three, and we both know I don't care about political correctness, so I took it upon myself to honor his wishes. I've been at many political funerals and listened to locals standing in groups planning their strategies. God gave people souls, but some don't know to take advantage of that God-given gift."
Young's district covered nearly all of Pinellas County, including the Tampa Bay area. He had already said he would not run for re-election in 2014, after serving 22 terms as a congressman. A special election will likely be held before that to fill Young's unexpired term.
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