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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Former House Speaker Bense hospitalized at Shands in Gainesville



Former House Speaker Allan Bense is being treated at Shands Hospital in Gainesville after getting admitted Monday, according to WJHG, Channel 7, the NBC affiliate in Panama City.

Bense, who served in the Florida House from 1998 to 2006 and was Speaker from 2004 to 2006, had a “serious bout with a pancreatic disease a few years ago” but there was no word on whether this current hospital stay was related, WJHG reported.

Bense, 61, currently serves as the chairman of the board for Florida State University’s board of trustees. A successful road contractor, he is the father-in-law of current Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, who married Bense’s daughter, Courtney, in 2006.

Weatherford released this statement about Bense:

“Speaker Bense is recovering at Shands. Tonie, Courtney, the entire Bense family and I are grateful for the tremendous care and expertise he is receiving. We hope that everyone will respect the family's privacy as he makes an expected full recovery. Let me tell you, Allan Bense is one tough man, and God is with him. Everyone’s prayers are appreciated.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 5:18pm]


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