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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:43 AM

 

Bill McBride, 67, former candidate for governor and husband of Alex Sink, dies of heart attack

Source: Tampa Bay Times

TALLAHASSEE Bill McBride, a gregarious Tampa lawyer with a common touch whose dream of being governor of Florida ended in a lopsided loss to Jeb Bush in 2002, died Saturday. He was 67.

McBride, the husband of Alex Sink, who was the 2010 Democratic candidate for governor, suffered a heart attack while on a holiday trip to North Carolina. Along with the couple's son, Bert, daughter, Lexi, and other family members, they had gathered for Christmas in Sink's hometown of Mount Airy, N.C.

Patrick Manteiga, publisher of La Gaceta newspaper in Tampa and a family friend, said McBride was found unconscious after he had excused himself from a game of cards. "They had gone up to North Carolina to visit her side of the family. They had a perfectly great trip, ate at a restaurant that had great pork chops, and in the evening were playing gin rummy. Bill got up and left and didn't come back," Manteiga said. "They're a great family. It was a great, great time of their life."

Manteiga said details on services would be forthcoming.

"Bill's most outstanding quality is that he is the most fantastic father in the world," said Bob Bolt, McBride's law partner and a close friend since they were high school football rivals. "He always made sure he got home at night to see his kids. They are the most important thing in his life, both of them." Bolt said McBride played competitive handball as recently as last week. A lover of baseball, football, fishing and anything involving his alma mater, the University of Florida, he played at the Harbour Island Athletic Club & Spa, where in 2003 he collapsed while working out on a treadmill.

McBride underwent an angioplasty, in which doctors inserted a stent into a closed coronary artery to reopen it.

He was an imposing figure, at 6-feet-3 and well over 200 pounds, but had a wide, easy grin and a folksy demeanor. Despite his success and wealth in the corporate world, McBride enjoyed wearing an old gray sweatshirt, eating cheeseburgers and slaw dogs and drinking a glass of bourbon. He remained steadfastly proud of his small-town roots in 1950s Leesburg, north of Orlando.

McBride was born on May 10, 1945. The son of a TV repairman, he played fullback and linebacker in high school and held a variety of jobs to support himself. "You get a chance to build confidence as a kid in a small town." McBride told the Miami Herald in 2002. His parents were divorced in his freshman year at UF and a knee injury derailed his football career, but he followed a well-worn path to politics as a member of the Blue Key honor society and president of a leading campus fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega. After a year of law school at UF, McBride joined the Marines, rose to the rank of captain and received the Bronze Star with a Combat V for valor for service during the Vietnam War. After returning and finishing law school, he became a civic leader in such organizations as United Way and the Florida Holocaust Museum and was a sought-after fundraiser for Democratic candidates. McBride was managing partner of Holland & Knight, which for many years was the state's largest law firm and where his mentor was Chesterfield Smith, a former American Bar Association president.

After a decade in charge of Holland & Knight's global operations spanning six countries, he joined the Tampa law firm of Barnett, Bolt, Kirkwood, Long & McBride. He was a senior partner at the time of his death.

Political leaders from throughout Florida paid tribute.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, called McBride "a strong advocate for public education and civil rights."

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn called him "a good man known for his caring heart."

"He embraced life so that it seems all the more shocking that his life has ended," former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said. "There was so much good in him."

On Twitter, Jeb Bush said: "Thoughts and prayers are with Alex and Bill's entire family."

Gov. Rick Scott, who defeated Alex Sink in 2010, said: "Bill McBride was a great lawyer, a devoted public servant, a veteran and a talented leader. Florida is no doubt a better place because people like Bill McBride commit themselves to making a difference in the lives of others."

Said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in a statement: "Bill McBride was larger than life. He was one of the great business, legal and political leaders of Florida, and he is a friend that many of us will miss."

more at link:
http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/article1267456.ece

Read more: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/article1267456.ece



I was a staffer for Bill, and I'm very saddened by this news, and my heart goes out to his family at this time.

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Reply Bill McBride, 67, former candidate for governor and husband of Alex Sink, dies of heart attack (Original post)
SugarShack Dec 2012 OP
SugarShack Dec 2012 #1
DonCoquixote Dec 2012 #2
shenmue Dec 2012 #3
Cha Dec 2012 #4

Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:50 AM

1. Bill McBride was the best democrat in Florida!

 

Even Bill Nelson knows that!
Castor? Where were you??????

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:34 PM

2. I may have railed against him and the Mrs.

Because they are both Blue Dogs, but I still would not have wished this. RIP.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:36 PM

3. Rest in peace.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:00 PM

4. Wow..RIP Bill McBride

I didn't know he was married to Alex Sink!

I remember him so well.. so many people wished him well and sent him money from all over the Nation to help beat Jeb Bush in 2002.

This reminds me of Lawton Chiles passing in 1998 at the relatively young age of 68 of a heart attack.

I can imagine how saddened you are, SugarShack

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