Dave Bitner, one of Stephen's biggest supporters and encouragers during our 2008 campaign, passed away this week at his house in Monticello. This is a photo of us, with Dave and his wife Wendy, at a fundraiser Dave and Wendy hosted at their home for Stephen during his 2008 campaign for county commissioner.
Dave had a successful political career as a member of the Florida House of Representatives for 8 years. He was also a well respected lobbyist. He was elected to be the head of the Republican Party of Florida in January 2011, a position that he held until just last week. He died from ALS, which he was diagnosed with earlier this year.
Dave was an outstanding conservative leader in Florida. He was both outspoken and well-spoken. He was always looking toward the next election, and was always looking for ways to help conservative candidates win elections. He was someone who truly encouraged Stephen to run for county commission and continued to support him after he won and held office.
George W. Bush said in his memoirs, and this is not a direct quote, "The reason why good people aren't in politics is because of the way they are treated. If we want good people in office, we have to support them." I know for a fact that the reason why Stephen came to run for office and then win his office, is because of people like Dave, who are willing to spend their lives supporting good people who are running for public office.
Thank you, Dave. The conservatives in the state of Florida will greatly miss you.