Sarasota Police say the husband of former U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, who was also Florida's secretary of state, has committed suicide.
Police were called to the Harris residence around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. William Hild, a pastor at Sarasota First Baptist Church, confirmed that Harris' husband, Anders Ebbeson, had taken his own life.
According to Hild, who is speaking on behalf of the family, Ebbeson had been suffering from poor health.
The health conditions had been an "increasingly large part of his life," Hild said.
"On behalf of the family, Katherine's husband took his own life," Hild said. "They are asking for privacy, prayer, thoughts and love from the community."
According to police reports, officers were dispatched to the home located in the 1400 block of Bay Point Drive in Sarasota between 7:30 and 8 a.m Tuesday.
Police had cordoned off the block as they investigated the scene. Reports soon surfaced that the home belonged to Harris and her husband.
During the presidential election of 2000, Harris was secretary of state at the time and became a household name as controversy over Florida's recount (and those hanging chads) emerged.
While George W. Bush and Al Gore were separated by just a little more than 500 votes, Harris called a halt of the recount and certified Bush the winner, giving him Florida and, thus, the presidency.
Adding to the controversy was that Harris was cochair of Bush's Florida election push.
According to Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, Harris' only comment was that she wanted the community to know that her husband was "no longer suffering."
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