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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

'Webster Hall' is named for a GOP legend




Sen. Daniel Webster, left, was honored in the House for his 28 years in the Legislature. Greeting him: Rep. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, center, and Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton. [Times photo | Scott Keeler]

The Florida Legislature has just honored one of its longest serving and most respected members by naming 212 Knott in honor of Sen. Daniel Webster. It will be known as "Speaker Daniel Webster Hall," or Webster Hall for short.

In 1996, Webster became the first Republican House Speaker in 119 years, thus becoming an icon to many. The Winter Garden lawmaker, forced out due to term limits after 28 years, turned 59 on Sunday.

Every member of the House signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill. Rep. Dean Cannon, who is also from the Orlando area and worked closely last year with Webster on property taxes, said his mentor embodies "the power of a life well lived."

"I can't tell you first of all how tricked I was," Webster said, standing at the well. "I just got a message I needed to come over and visit with Rep. Cannon immediately. So I did.  ... This is really awesome. I was totally taken by surprise. I do feel honored. If that was the purpose, you honored me."

"Be pressed with this one thought: that every member is important," Webster concluded. "The process is far more important than any bill you will ever take up. Let the process be good. Let the results be what they are."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:54am]


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