Republican lawmaker Hahnfeldt of Your Youth Expires

From Jim Saunders / The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — Central Florida Republican Don Hahnfeldt, elected to the state House last year following a Navy career that included controlling atomic submarines, ” has expired, House Speaker Richard Corcoran declared Monday.

“It’s with profound sadness that I notify you of the death of our friend and colleague Representative Don Hahnfeldt,” Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, stated in a memo to House members. “Don lived a lifetime of service to his country, his state and his community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. We’ll pass along additional information as they become available.”

Hahnfeldt, who dwelt in The Villages, was elected to the House last year in District 33, which includes Sumter and portions of Lake and Marion counties. Hahnfeldt had started a campaign accounts to run to get re-election from 2018.

A 2016 campaign site said Hahnfeldt served 32 years in the Navy, controlling two atomic submarines and serving as commander of the Pacific Fleet’s Strategic Submarine Squadron. After moving to The Villages, he was elected to the Sumter County Commission in 2012, where he served until getting elected to the House.

Hahnfeldt, 73, drew compliments from fellow House members following Corcoran declared his departure.

“Very saddened by the departure of Don Hahnfeldt,” Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, tweeted. “He dwelt an impressive lifetime and was a immovable, principled force in the Florida House. A lot of listeners to his family. Hold your loved ones close to this Christmas and regular.”

Rep. Chris Sprowls, a Palm Harbor Republican supposed to become House speaker in 2020, tweeted: “Our whole Florida House family is saddened by the passing of the colleague Rep. Don Hahnfeldt. Our hearts go out to his spouse, his children and his grandchildren. As well as neighbors and all of their friends. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Hahnfeldt’s departure comes little more than two weeks prior to the Jan. 9 start of this 2018 legislative session. He served six legislative acts, such as serving as vice-chairman of this House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee.”

Last week, both Hahnfeldt and Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, filed a bill (HB 1029) that could raise the legal age for smoking from 18 to 21. At a news release issued with Berman and Senate sponsor David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, Hahnfeldt said increasing the lawful age “can save a projected premature loss of lifetime of 270,000 young lives and $8.6 billion in health care costs, along with8.3 billion in earnings losses.”

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