Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Florida tributes to Ted Kennedy

The Miami Herald's Naked Politics blog has a roundup of statements from Florida officials reacting to the death of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, including this one from Sen. Mel Martinez, who crossed partisan lines to work with Kennedy on immigration reform:
"Ted was an icon of passionate public service and gave selflessly to our nation," Martinez said. "I came to know him well through our work on immigration reform where he was a tough negotiator, and someone who knew how to reach bipartisan agreement for the good of an issue. He will be remembered as the Lion of the Senate for his voice, his style, his work, and his allegiance to always do what he thought was best for our country. Kitty and I offer our condolences and Senator Kennedy's family is in our thoughts and prayers."
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., issued this:
"Most Americans cannot remember a time without Ted Kennedy. Whatever your political persuasion, you had to respect his lion-like conviction.I t was that conviction that gave a voice to the powerless over the powerful. Grace and I came to know Ted and Vicki in his later years in the Senate, and we count it a privilege to have known him."
Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, issued this:
“Senator Kennedy dedicated his professional and public service career to working people, seniors and children. His legacy is long and vast. Anyone who has lost their job recently can thank Senator Ted Kennedy for COBRA. Anyone who suffers from mental illness can thank Senator Ted Kennedy for improving mental health coverage. Senator Ted Kennedy also was instrumental in increasing the minimum wage, which is so vital to workers in the Tampa Bay area, and for defending Americans’ civil rights. There is a void in the U.S. Senate today, but his influence will be felt for generations and generations.”
Did you ever meet Kennedy in Massachusetts, Washington, D.C. or Florida? Did you ever work on his or his brothers' campaigns? The Bradenton Herald is preparing a story about Kennedy's local connections and would like to include your stories.

Contact East Manatee Editor Jim Jones at or (941) 748-7916.

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