RPOF leader Dave Bitner passes away from ALS

RPOF Vice Chairman Lenny Curry issued this press release:

With sadness and a heavy heart, I must report that Florida has lost a great leader and public servant. Today, the Republican Party of Florida’s Chairman Dave Bitner lost his courageous battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

It has been the honor of a lifetime to work by Chairman Bitner’s side. Not only was Dave a born leader, he was an exemplary man in every sense. In honor of his example, I am committed to ensure that the Republican Party of Florida continues its tradition of service to our beloved state.

I ask all Floridians to join me in offering our thoughts and prayers for Dave and his remarkable wife Wendy. Through Dave’s battle with ALS, I watched as Wendy was the embodiment of love and compassion. I pray that Dave enjoy the peace that comes from our God, and that Wendy feel God’s love and strength in this time of grief.

Hillsborough County Republican Party Chair Deborah Cox-Roush released a statement sharing similar sentiments:

No words can express the sadness of The Hillsborough County Republican Party and the entire Republican Party of Florida Family with this loss of a friend and a true leader. Dave's belief and unwavering commitment to our party, our grassroots and our country will be missed. He was an example for all.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Wendy, a remarkable lady, who was selfless in her sharing of Chairman Bitner with us these last few months. May she know that we all have her and her family in our prayers today.

Chairman, you will be missed, may you rest in peace.

CL saw Bitner less than two weeks ago, on August 27 at a party held in downtown Tampa to celebrate the one year countdown to the Republican National Convention coming to Tampa in 2012. He had hoped to make it through the big Presidency 5 straw poll taking place in Orlando in two weeks time.

Republican officials from across the state issued statements on Thursday mourning the passing of the Chairman of the Florida Republican Party, Dave Bitner, who died from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Bitner served in the Florida House from 1992 to 2000 and later worked as a lobbyist.

He was named to replace John Thrasher as party chair last year, and announced just last week that he would step down Sept. 23 from his post as party leader, saying the disease was taking away from his ability to do his job.

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