Former state Senator Larcenia Bullard has died, according to her an aide to her son, Senator Dwight Bullard.
The Miami Democrat ended a long legislative career in 2012, leaving the Senate because of term limits. She was 65.
A compilation of reactions and statements:
Governor Rick Scott:
“Today, Florida lost a strong leader. Ann and I join all Floridians as we mourn the passing of Senator Larcenia Bullard. She represented the families of South Florida with passion and integrity. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those close to her and the rest of Florida as we honor a woman who put her constituents first. We remain grateful to Senator Bullard for her service to this great state and pray that her family can find peace during this difficult time.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi, via Twitter:
“I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of Sen Larcenia Bullard. She was a great colleague and friend. Please pray for the Bullard family.”
Senate President Don Gaetz:
Today our dear friend and former colleague, Senator Larcenia Bullard, died in Miami. Although she had faced many serious challenges to herhealth in recent months, Senator Bullard was on the floor with us — cheerful and proud — as her son, Dwight, began his first Senate session just two weeks ago.
Larcenia Bullard had the biggest heart in the Senate. A proud Democrat, she was never an uncompromising partisan. A political pioneer among African-Americans, her passion for fairness and justice extended to all people. Every hard fight in committee or tough debate on the Senate floor always ended with her warmly embracing those with whom she disagreed and assuring them of her love. Every senator with whom she served can share stories of her compassion and good humor.
The Bullards are an institution in South Florida. Loving their community and its people, they are fiercely loved and supported in return. The Senate shares the grief of the Bullard family and extends our prayers to Representative Ed Bullard, Senator Dwight Bullard, and all of those who mourn Larcenia. Every senator and staff member who served alongside Senator Bullard knows that something very good and kind is lost from our lives today.
Secretary Brown will keep us informed of funeral arrangements when they have been finalized.
“It is with great sadness that the Senate family learned today of the passing of former Senator Larcenia Bullard. The Senate was truly blessed in abundance by Senator Bullard. She was the light of any room she walked into and her laughter and stories could capture the moment like no other. She was a friend to all and a passionate advocate for her community. She leaves behind a strong legacy of caring, compassion, and dedication. To honor her memory, let us spread her joy and kindness wherever we may go, for she would delight in that. Our thoughts and prayers are with her devoted husband, her beloved children, and her precious grandchildren.”
“I am incredibly saddened with the news of Senator Bullard’s passing. She was not only a mentor to me, but a woman many loved for her outspoken ways and selfless devotion to the people she represented.
“Even when ill, Senator Bullard remained determined to serve those who elected her – those whose faith she carried and protected.
“On the Senate Floor, she spoke of things that gave inspiration to many; she never shied away from controversial issues. And she never shied away from standing up for issues she believed were right.
“After being term-limited, she returned to the Senate just one week ago. Ever the free spirit, she danced for the Senate’s very own version of the ‘Harlem Shake’ in a way only Larcenia could!
“As our hearts and prayers go out to her son, Senator Dwight Bullard, and her husband, former Representative Ed Bullard – ever at her side – this we know…she is still dancing in heaven.”
Speaker Will Weatherford, via Twitter:
“Sad to hear about former Senator Larcenia Bullard’s passing. My prayers are with @DwightBullard and his family.”
“Our thoughts and Prayers go out to @DwightBullard and his family for the passing of Sen. Larcenia Bullard. Godspeed.”
“I join Floridians in prayer for the Bullard family. We are saddened by the loss of a great and dedicated public servant.”
“Words can’t express the sense of loss the entire Fla Legislative Family is feeling w/the loss of Sen. LarceniaBullard #LoveMeSomeMamaBull”