By CRAIG PITTMAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000
Powerful Largo Republican C.W. Bill Young, who as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee steered millions of federal dollars to Pinellas County, easily bested a pair of little-known challengers Tuesday to win another term in Congress.
With about half the votes counted, Young led the race with 78 percent of the vote. Natural Law Party candidate Josette Green, who spent a mere $12,000 on her shoestring campaign, garnered about 12 percent, while independent candidate Randy Heine spent 10 times as much and got just 10 percent.
Young said he never took the race for granted, but was unable to do much campaigning because "most of the time I was stuck in Washington doing the job I was elected to do."
His campaign largely consisted of a mailing that touted his accomplishments, ranging from opposing offshore oil drilling to steering $50-million toward improving U.S. 19. Heine spent thousands of dollars earned from his controversial Tobacco Emporium on billboards. Green had to resort to waving at passing cars.
Green said she did comparatively well despite her lack of resources because her message "ignited a lot of people." Heine blamed his loss on the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, which he sued Tuesday in federal court for false arrest after drug possession charges against him recently were dropped.