Ken Pruitt resigns from Senate

From the The Palm Beach Post Blog:

Ken Pruitt resigns from Senate

by Dara Kam | May 8th, 2009

Sen. Ken Pruitt will resign effective August 4.

Pruitt, who has served in the legislature for nearly two decades, told his Senate President successor Jeff Atwater today that he is retiring from politics, Atwater said.

The Port St. Lucie Republican’s decision came as a surprise, said Atwater, who called his friend and colleague “a class act.”

“This man completely was the centerpiece of the Florida senate for virtually the past decade,” said Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, whose senate district abuts Pruitt’s.

Pruitt served as budget chief and rules chairman before becoming Senate President in 2006. He was elected to the Senate in 2000 after serving a decade in the House.

Pruitt delivered his resignation in a private meeting with Gov. Charlie Crist earlier in the day.

“He’s retiring from politics to go home and be with his bride, God bless him. What a wonderful man and a tremendous career in public service,” Crist said.

Crist and Pruitt became strong allies since Crist took office two years ago, sharing the stage on issues such as property taxes and Bright Futures, Pruitt’s brainchild.

“I can’t say enough good things about President Pruitt. Just a wonderful, wonderful friend and a great man,” Crist said.

Atwater said Pruitt told him of his intention to resign over the telephone after the sine die ceremony marking the end of the legislative session.

“That’s the kind of class act that he is,” Atwater said.

Atwater said he asked Pruitt, 52, why he hadn’t said something at lunch so the other senators could say farewell and Pruitt told him: “This was not my day. This was the senate’s day. This was the people of Florida’s day.”


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