Democratic Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings died Tuesday at the age of 84 following a battle with pancreatic cancer since 2019.
Hastings was the longest-serving congressional member in Florida. He had represented the state’s 20th district since 1992.
“Our community and state has lost a dedicated and steadfast leader this morning. It is with a heavy heart that I express my deepest condolences to the Hastings family for the passing of my friend, mentor, fraternity brother and our leader, Congressman Alcee Hastings,” Democratic state Sen. Perry Thurston told Florida Politics.
Florida Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings is dead at 84. https://t.co/kEeQs4B6Qm
A very kind man who served in Congress for 28 years. Previous to serving in Congress he was impeached and removed from the federal bench.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) April 6, 2021
Hasting’s district included parts of Broward County and Palm Beach County in south Florida. He previously served as a federal judge before his lengthy term in Congress.
Many have noted his impeachment as judge in 1989 for soliciting a bribe from a defendant. He also unsuccessfully ran for Florida Secretary of State in 1990 before his election as Congressman.
His vacant seat will require a special election set by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). Politico noted State Sen. Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, has expressed plans to run, with others considering a run.
With Hasting’s passing, the House will shift to 218 Democrats and 212 Republicans. The narrow lead will force Democrats to remain united to pass legislation along party lines.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated regarding Hastings, “Congressman Hastings leaves behind a powerful legacy of activism and action on behalf of Floridians and all Americans. His leadership and friendship will be missed by his many friends in Congress.”