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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Remembering Mike Davis



Mikedavis_2A flower arrangement sits on Rep. Mike Davis' desk during a memorial service Thursday. [Times photo | Alex Leary]

Rep. Mike Davis, who lost a months-long battle with cancer last month at age 60, was remembered Thursday as a humble, trusted and effective lawmaker who had a sense of humor and a love for fast cars and motorcycles.

"He was here to do something, not to be someone," House Speaker Marco Rubio said, crediting Davis' work on affordable housing. "Mike Davis just wanted to make a difference. And he knew the people he was helping would never know his name, and yet he did it anyway."

The House chamber was nearly full for the 50-minute ceremony with Gov. Charlie Crist, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, CFO Alex Sink and other top officials looking on. A resolution was passed honoring Davis.

"I've always told my children there is only one way you earn your reputation," said Rep. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, as photos of the honored lawmaker flashed on the video monitor overhead. "Mike Davis earned his reputation. Mike was the type of person where you knew where he stood and you could count on him to stand."

Rep. Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, invoked Davis' playful side and work on a bill last session that cracked down on groups that imitate doo-wop bands. Glorioso turned his back to the chamber and slid on a pair of black sunglasses, then recalled the day the bill was debated and Davis wore shades. "He turned around with that smile, that great big smile. I looked and I said 'That's Mike.' That’s what I will remember for the rest of my life."

Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, praised Davis' work on affordable housing and urged the Legislature to continue work on that front. "Today, I mean it Mike, you will always be our fine, fine friend from Naples."

Miami Republican David Rivera entered the House with Davis in 2002, and said his friend would want today's ceremony not tear filled, "but a celebration of life. We all know how humble and unpretentious he was. After all, Mike's life and certainly his time with us was really a tribute to the human spirit and importance of living each moment to the fullest."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:17am]


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