Days after Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., announced his retirement, GOP political consultant Nick Zoller was one of the first Republican candidates to jump into the race to replace the 22-term congressman.
But upon Young's Oct. 18 death, Zoller repeatedly clarified on social media and in interviews that he would not run in the special election to replace Young. Zoller will instead seek the full two year-term that will commence in January 2015.
"I never really had the intentions of ramping up an operation to run in a special election," he said in a Tuesday phone interview with CQ Roll Call.
"So I’ve stayed focused, especially considering the fact that this is going to be a very expensive special election, and I feel like we need someone who is ready to run in the regularly scheduled election, should [Democrat] Alex Sink win the special."
But also, according to a public records search, he will not be eligible to serve in Congress until he turns 25 in October of next year.
"Obviously, that would factor in, but the reasoning was that I'd already made a decision to run in the regularly-scheduled election," he said, when asked about the issue. "I never even considered the special. So regardless of what requirements there are, I would have never considered the special, no matter what."
Zoller said he will challenge the incumbent in a primary if one of the GOP candidates, lobbyist David Jolly or state Rep. Kathleen Peters, wins the March 11 special election.
"I'm running regardless," he said.