TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Dorothy Hukill, a longtime Central Florida politician whose Florida Senate district covered Volusia and Brevard counties, has passed away.
Senate President Joe Negron announced Hukill's death in a Senate memorandum Tuesday.
"Dorothy was a strong and passionate advocate for her community," Negron said. "I personally admired her passion for education and was proud to have Dorothy serve as Chair of the Committee on Education during my service as Senate President."
Hukill, a Republican, started out in politics as a councilwoman for Ponce Inlet in the 90s. She then went on to serve as vice mayor and then mayor of Port Orange before being elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2004.
Hukill served in the House until 2012, when she was then elected to serve in the Florida Senate for District 14, which covers Volusia County from Port Orange and DeLand down south to the county line. The district also includes North Brevard County down to Cape Canaveral and Rockledge.
"Whenever I was in District 14 with Senator Hukill, I could literally feel the affection and admiration of her community," Negron said. "Even after her election to the Florida House and Senate, many constituents still warmly called her 'Mayor,' in fond recognition of her term as Mayor of Port Orange from 2000 to 2004."
On her re-election campaign Facebook page Friday, Hukill said that she was treated for cancer in 2016, and recently there was an aggressive recurrence.
"Along with my family, I have made the difficult decision to enter hospice care and no longer seek treatment for this disease," Hukill wrote on Facebook. "As a result, I will no longer be seeking re-election this November."
Hukill's campaign workers said there would be a private family service, with public services to be announced in the future.
In lieu of flowers, Hukill's family asks for a donation to the Halifax Health Hospice Facility in Port Orange.
Gov. Scott issued the following statement on Hukill's passing, and says state flags will be lowered "at the appropriate time":
“My wife, Ann, and I are with heavy heart to learn of Senator Dorothy Hukill’s passing today. Senator Hukill was a true leader in the Florida Senate and served the public with distinction. She worked to make our state a better place to live and leaves an incredible legacy. We are all grateful for her commitment to Florida families. Our prayers are with Dorothy’s family today and to those closest to her. We are also praying for our friends and colleagues in the Florida Senate who loved and admired Senator Hukill so much. To honor her memory, I will be lowering the state flags at the appropriate time.”