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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela



U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings: "Truly, the name Nelson Mandela has become synonymous with peace, justice, and the most steadfast perseverance. The outpouring of support across the globe for President Mandela is a testament to his integrity and fortitude. I have no doubt that his name will live on for generations to come."

State Sen. Arthenia Joyner: “As an early participant in the struggle for civil rights, Mr. Mandela and his epic struggle for freedom for the people of South Africa was an inspiration to me; his cause a continuous reminder to never give up in the fight for equal rights here at home.  I was one of the demonstrators in front of the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C. arrested for demanding his freedom and the end to apartheid in that country. And when those demonstrations helped lead to his release from decades of imprisonment and the dismantling of segregation, I celebrated along with millions of others reveling in South Africa’s first taste of real freedom."

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson: "Nelson Mandela was one of the great pioneers of human rights whose courage inspired people around the world."

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio: “The world has lost one of history’s most important figures, though Nelson Mandela’s example will live on for generations to come. Men and women striving for justice and fairness around the world have drawn inspiration from Nelson Mandela, and he showed South Africans and the entire world what the power of forgiveness truly means and can accomplish. My wife Jeanette and I send our condolences to the Mandela family and to the people of South Africa.”

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel: “Today we mourn the loss of Nelson Mandela, a special man who will forever be remembered for leading a peaceful fight for equality and freedom. His legacy will continue to inspire millions of people.”

Gov. Rick Scott: "The free world lost an incredible leader today. The hearts and prayers of families across FL go out to the people of S. Africa."

Florida Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith: "To say that Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to people throughout the world is an understatement. I travelled to his birthplace, and to his prison cell. I reached out to touch the cold bars that held him, and I could look for just a brief time at the limestone rock quarry he worked at for more than a quarter century before finally returning to freedom. That servitude at the rock quarry cost him a great deal of his eyesight, but it never blinded him to his mission. He is and will always be a testament to the determination of the human spirit no man could break, and the yearning for freedom no imprisonment could conquer.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "Today we lost an inspirational leader who taught all of us the power of the tenacity of hope while fighting for civil rights, democracy and equality. Let us reflect on the life, legacy and work of Nelson Mandela, and remember that he believed in the power of the difference one person can make. We must encourage generations to come to carry on his legacy as we look to the future with his same optimism and hope."

U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho: "I join the rest of the world in offering my condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela. He fought against apartheid and strove for liberty, which cost him 27 years of his freedom and life. He spent 27 years in prison fighting for justice. May his soul rest in peace as he is truly free now. The world is a better place for having him in it."

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson: “The world will probably never again see a man of Nelson Mandela’s courage and conviction.  He was truly a remarkable and inspirational human being to have endured 27 years as a political prisoner and to respond with forgiveness and reconciliation. President Mandela inspired a movement for freedom and equality that not only transformed South Africa but also humanity. Nelson Mandela was a man of steel and a symbol of peace. He was a gift from God to this world.”

Charlie Crist: "Humanity has lost a great leader and a noble soul in the passing of Nelson Mandela."

Jeb Bush: "The sacrifices Pres. Mandela made for the cause of freedom will forever remain as one of history's great examples of courage and leadership."

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant: "He transformed a nation, and in so doing he transformed the world for generations to come. Nelson Mandela leaves behind a legacy as rich as the life he lived, a source of strength for the oppressed, an inspiration to all who seek to build a better world."

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry: "Nelson Mandela was a source of light to his nation and a beacon of hope to the world. May he rest in peace."

[Last modified: Thursday, December 5, 2013 9:44pm]


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