After a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings (D) has passed away. A special election will decide who will assume office in District 20, and Florida lawmakers are sharing their thoughts on what Rep. Hastings meant to Florida politics and the political arena as a whole.
On social media, Florida Rep. Val Demings (D) expressed her condolences, saying that he “served his constituents as a civil rights attorney, judge, and as the Dean of our Congressional delegation.” Adding that Hastings “changed the face of politics in Florida,” she noted that he “brought passion and unwavering dedication to the fight for justice.” Because of that, Floridians should be “forever grateful for a life well lived.”
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) also shared her thoughts on Hastings’ character, noting that his “life was devoted to righting wrongs and he wasn’t afraid to use a little shame to press for change.”
“Florida has lost a brilliant, fearless, giant-hearted advocate for this state that he dearly loved, and Congress has lost a wise, patient and compassionate statesman.” Calling him a “treasured friend and true mentor,” she also expressed that Hastings was an individual she “constantly leaned on for sage counsel.”
Florida has lost a brilliant, fearless, giant-hearted advocate for this state that he dearly loved, and Congress has lost a wise, patient and compassionate statesman. I have lost a treasured friend and true mentor, someone I constantly leaned on for sage counsel. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/77uc3gZJQ3
— Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) April 6, 2021
As a member of the Florida House, Hastings won reelection 14 times, he was a senior Democrat on the House Rules Committee, and he was also elected president of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly in 2004.
Speaking on his battle with pancreatic cancer, Hastings commented that he had “been convinced that this is a battle worth fighting, and my life is defined by fighting battles worth fighting.” “Should it become clear that this cancer which has invaded my body cannot be defeated, I will tell you so,” he added.