Former Florida Governor Reubin Askew passed away early Thursday morning. Askew was the state’s 37th governor, and the first governor to be elected to a second, successive four-year term in Florida history.
As a show of respect, Gov. Rick Scott directed flags to be flown at half-staff at all local and state buildings, installations, and grounds.
A sampling of comments from Florida’s political leaders:
Governor Rick Scott
“Governor Askew served our nation as a veteran, he served Florida’s families as an elected officeholder, and he served our children as an educator… His accomplishments were vast, but he remained humble and took his commitment to public service seriously. Governor Askew strove to make life better for all of Florida’s families, and that dedication is an example for all who followed in his footsteps. Ann and I mourn his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Donna Lou, and his entire family.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi
“Governor Askew was a courageous public servant who led by example. He was guided by honesty and integrity, and he set a high standard for public service as he pursued ethics reform, transparency, and equality… My prayers are with Governor Askew’s family and friends, and especially with his wife, Donna Lou, who not too long ago celebrated her golden anniversary with Governor Askew.”
Senate President Don Gaetz
“The passing of Governor Reubin Askew leaves a lonesome place against the Florida sky. He opened up Florida’s government to its people and made our state a model for America. For those of us of a certain age who cut our political teeth in the 60’s and 70’s, Governor Askew was living proof that good guys can finish first. Integrity was his platform and honor was his policy.”
House Speaker Will Weatherford
“In Governor Askew, Florida has lost a leader who embodied what it means to be a true public servant. Governor Askew leaves behind a legacy of public service that has set the standard for all individuals in elected office today… I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know this great man. I offer my prayers to his family and his wife Donna Lou.”
House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston
“Reubin Askew distinguished himself as one of the greatest governors in Florida history, having been a champion for racial equality, ethics and tax reforms, and modernizing our state government. Reubin Askew served with honor in the Florida Senate and the state House of Representatives, where he enjoyed a reputation for integrity, compassion, and Democratic Party principles. Governor Askew’s devotion to the people of Florida and his enduring legacy will be missed tremendously.”
Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant
“Reubin Askew was a giant of Florida history, whose unparalleled accomplishments for the people of Florida set the example all Floridians elected to public office strive to meet. We will miss his wisdom, his friendship, and his leadership in difficult times.”
Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry
“Governor Askew was an outstanding public servant, upon whose shoulders others have stood to carry on his legacy of good and transparent government. He was a family man, an educator, a veteran of our armed forces, and a man of unmatched integrity. We mourn the passing of this great leader, but more importantly, celebrate his life and the way in which he committed it to public service.”
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