Gov. Buddy MacKay's statement
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 14, 1998
y fellow Floridians, millions of people across our state and all across America are saddened today by the loss of Gov. Lawton Chiles.
There is no simple way to sum up the extraordinary achievements of Lawton Chiles' life. But the tributes pouring in from every part of our state and country make it clear we are all better for knowing him. On behalf of all the people that knew, respected, loved and learned from Lawton Chiles, our prayers and our deepest sympathies go out to his wife, Rhea, their four children and their 10 grandchildren.
Gov. Chiles never wanted to talk about his legacy, because he still had miles to go in his journey of service. But the truth is Lawton Chiles' legacy is all around us. You can see it in the bright futures that await children whose health care and education has been greatly improved. You can find it in the natural resources that will be here for the enjoyment of generations to come. And you can feel it in the hope that lives in the hearts of millions of people who believe as he did that we are at our best as a community and not as a crowd.
It's been my great privilege in my working life to have been Gov. Chiles' partner during the triumphant final miles of his long walk through history. The trail that he blazed goes on. Our challenge is to keep his memory alive by sharing his commitment to helping others.
We mourn the loss of one of Florida's favorite and best sons. There will never be another like him. God bless the Chiles family, our state and our future.