Post #93, Bob McKnight's Florida Political Commentary
Former Representative Beverly Burnsed Spencer passed away on November 28th. Susan and I send our condolences and prayers to her family. I served in the Legislature with Bev and had the honor and pleasure of working with her a number of times.
Susan was a sister with her in the Delta Zeta sorority--Bev at Florida State, and Susan at Auburn. Bev was elected from Lakeland, where I attended undergraduate school at Florida Southern College. We did not meet there but had many friends in common from "Imperial Polk County." My most often contact with her was in the Health and Rehabilitative Services Committee in the Legislature. We served together on the House Committee after her election to the House of Representatives in 1976, as well as on the Health and Mental Health Subcommittee, which I chaired. When I moved up to the Senate in 1978, I ended up chairing both the Senate Health and Rehabilitative Services Committee as well as the Appropriations Subcommittee funding Health and Rehabilitative Services, the Judiciary and Criminal Justice System. Bev was a senior member of both of those Committees in the House. In 1980-82, the Health and Rehabilitative Services Appropriations Conference Committee included me as Senate Chairman and Bev as the senior Democratic member behind House Chairman Jon Mills.
Bev was a wonderful person with which to work-smart, witty, tough, and most important, she served with unquestioned integrity. I still remember her attending a pivotal and tense Conference Committee pulling our a green wig--saying I was "green with envy." She was right, as she so often was.
As I documented in my book, The Golden Years...The Florida Legislature, '70's and '80's, I pointed out that had I run for governor (which I contemplated in 1986), I would have selected Bev as my running mate. She seemed to be pleased about that, but later changed parties as part of the Florida's transition from a Democratic majority to the Republican Party. I have often wondered how our team might have fared had we made the race.
Rest in Peace Bev. Your served your district and your state with great distinction. We will miss you greatly.