Representative Clay Ford of Gulf Breeze died late last night after a long battle with cancer.
Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a news release, "Ann and I were sad to hear the news of the passing of Represenative Clay Ford. Our sincere condolences go to his family and to all of those inthe Legislature that served with him. Clay cared deeply for his constituents and it showed during his work in Tallahassee."
Florida Senate President Don Gaetz released the following statement:
"Earlier today, we were saddened to hear Speaker Weatherford’s announcement that Representative Clay Ford lost his battle to cancer.
Through his years of public service, Clay Ford has made thousands of friends across Florida. I’m proud to be one of them.
Clay served our country honorably as a Infantry officer in the United States Army, Army Reserve and National Guard. As a city official in Gulf Breeze and then as his community’s representative in the Legislature, Clay has earned a reputation as a tireless and successful advocate for Northwest Florida. One of my fondest memories of my service alongside Representative Ford was seeing the warm smile break over his face when he was honored as a champion for disabled children.
While some legislators mark their successes by the numbers of bill they pass, Clay Ford defined his performance by the lives he touched and made better.
He carried out his final struggle against cancer with grace and an abiding concern for others. Vicky and I feel a deep sense of loss and we pray for Carol and the Ford family during this most difficult time."