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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dean Cannon says goodbye to House, with 'Don't be afraid' quotes




Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, R- Winter Park, right, gets hugged by Rep. Erik Fresen, R- Miami, after Cannon gave his farwell speech to House members, Thursday. [Scott Keeler, Times]

Speaker of the Florida House, Dean Cannon, gave a five-minute farewell speech Monday, full of rousing words of wisdom for his colleagues, telling them not to be afraid of challenges and tough situtations.

In a flowery-worded speech, the Winter Park Republican told members of the 120-member chamber to fight back against fear.

Cannon kept his remarks short. His portrait, unveiled this week, will hang over the House for the next 100 years.

Here are a few Cannonisms from the goodbye speech:

“Do not be afraid. Don’t be afraid of failure, or of success. Do be afraid to succeed on those things that don’t really matter.”

“It is better to fight and lose, than to shrink from a worthy fight.”

“Find allies –- members who are smarter than you, and don’t be afraid to challenge enemies who appear stronger than you.”

“Don’t be afraid to say it when your allies are wrong and your enemies are right, because that happens too.”

“Don’t be afraid to give people second chances when they make mistakes. One day you’ll need that, too. I have.”

“If you go through your entire time in the Legislature, without upsetting an editorial board or two or making people angry, then you need to question whether your time here was well-spent.”

“Don’t be afraid of the future. Because what was once my future is now my past.”

“My sincere hope is that you will find challenges, worthy of you. And whatever you do, don’t be afraid.”

“Whatever you do, never, never, never give up.”

“I feel I’m the luckiest man alive. In a weird way I did win the Speaker lottery.”

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[Last modified: Thursday, March 8, 2012 6:29pm]


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