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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tributes pour out in memory of Bill McBride



U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson: "Bill McBride was larger than life. He was one of the great business, legal and political leaders of Florida, and he is a friend that many of us will miss."

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa: “Bill McBride was a leader whose devotion, intelligence and commitment to service knew no bounds. Everyone in the Tampa Bay area loves Bill McBride and his wife, Alex Sink, because they have served as shining examples of selflessness and moral courage. Bill McBride was a force for good in our community and a strong advocate for public education and civic rights. His mission in life was to serve Florida, and he accomplished that in innumerable ways. It feels like part of Florida is missing tonight. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially Alex, Bert and Lexie. They kept Bill young and inspired, and his spirit will live on.”

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor: My thoughts and prayers are with @AlexSinkFlorida, family and friends during this difficult time. Bill will be truly missed.

Steven Sonberg, Holland & Knight managing partner: The Holland & Knight family is saddened by the news of Bill McBride's passing. Bill remained a close and valued friend to many of us at Holland & Knight. He will be forever remembered as the consummate Holland & Knight lawyer. Bill provided dynamic leadership and gave his all in everything he did, whether guiding troops in Vietnam or managing Holland & Knight as it became a national law firm. Like his mentor Chesterfield Smith, Bill's efforts benefitted the firm, its lawyers, and the legal profession in countless ways. Bill believed strongly that all lawyers have an obligation to help those in need, especially those who cannot afford access to the legal system. His lasting contributions will serve as a legacy for years to come. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family during this difficult time.

Rod Smith, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party: "Tonight we offer our heartfelt condolences to Alex Sink and her family. All those who knew Bill knew he was not only a tireless advocate for the Democratic Party, but a leader and true public servant to the people of Florida. We send our thoughts and prayers to Alex, her children and their family in this difficult time."

Gov. Rick Scott: "Bill McBride was a great lawyer, a devoted public servant, a veteran and a talented leader. Our family's thoughts and prayers are with the McBride family, and especially his wife Alex, at this time of great loss. Florida is no doubt a better place because people like Bill McBride commit themselves to making a difference in the lives of others."

Charlie Crist, former governor of Florida, on Twitter: Our thoughts & prayers are with Alex & her children. Bill McBride was a civil rights leader, a war hero, & an irreplaceably great Floridian.

Jeb Bush, former Florida governor who defeated McBride in the 2002 election, on Twitter: Thoughts and prayers are with Alex and Bill's entire family.

Charlie Justice, Pinellas County commissioner, on Facebook: Rest in peace Bill McBride. thank you for your service. Sending prayers of comfort to Alex and family.

State Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, on Twitter: Bill McBride=Larger than Life! Was always a funny guy, & loved campaigning for his wife @alexsinkflorida -Fla was better because of McBride.

Bob Henriquez, incoming Hillsborough County property appraiser, on Twitter: Very saddened at the sudden loss of my friend Bill McBride. My thoughts are w/Alex Sink & her family. We will miss Bill's smile & bear hugs

Barney Bishop, Tallahassee lobbyist, on Twitter: Am shocked by sudden passing of @BillMcBride. A man of integrity and champion of tcommon man. He had a uncommon sense of right and wrong!

Steve Schale, Democratic political strategist, on Facebook: So sad to hear about Bill McBride. Without question he was one of the finest people I've ever known. I was blessed to spend several hours with him last week and I always valued his counsel. He always cared about others first and made a difference to all who were blessed to know him. RIP Bill.

Former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp on Twitter: Very sorry to hear about the passing of Bill McBride. Please keep Alex Sink and her family in your prayers.

[Last modified: Monday, December 24, 2012 11:16am]


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