[MIAMI] – In light of the news regarding the passing of Congressman Alcee Hastings, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz released the following statement:
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Alcee Hastings. Our state lost a tremendous leader this morning. Congressman Hastings was a trailblazer and true giant of Florida politics.
“Forty years ago, fresh out of law school, I met Judge Hastings through a mutual friend, the late Jesse McCrary. Through our many conversations, I learned enduring lessons that govern my actions even today.
“As a mentor, he challenged me to be a pioneer – to never be afraid. But, rather to live a life forging new paths and paving new roads. In an effort so that others find it easier to follow.
“As a respected attorney, civil rights activist and judge, he taught me to use the power of the law to improve the cause of human dignity, to right wrongs, to give a voice to those who can not speak, and to give a chance to all who would take it.
“As a public servant, he led by example. Championing the rights of minorities, women, the elderly, children, and immigrants while challenging the government to fulfill its constitutional promise of equality and opportunity for all. Today we pause to express our deepest sympathy to his family, colleagues and friends.”