Democrat Alcee Hastings, who represented parts of South Florida in the U.S. House for nearly three decades, died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 84.
Hastings was elected to the House in 1992, after he was impeached and removed from office as a federal judge in 1989 following a probe into allegations related to bribery and perjury. But Hastings was the longest-serving member of Florida’s congressional delegation at the time of his death, getting re-elected in 2020 with nearly 79 percent of the vote.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava issued the following statement following the passing of Congressman Alcee Hastings:
"South Florida lost a dedicated public servant and a lifelong fighter for civil rights and social justice with the passing of longtime Congressman Alcee Hastings. I offer my deepest condolences to the Hastings family who are mourning his loss. He was a fierce
advocate for his community and the greater South Florida area and his voice will be missed dearly. May he rest in peace."
Democrats issued statements Tuesday
praising Hastings, with U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch,
D-Fla., saying he was “heartbroken at the
passing of my dear friend.”
"I had the honor of working side by side with Alcee for more than a decade, seeing first-hand his passion and drive for standing up to injustice and fighting for our
community,” said Deutch, whose district, like Hastings’ district,
includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties. “Alcee devoted his career to advancing civil rights for all Americans and human rights around the world. His leadership on racial justice issues brought together
everyone committed to a more just and equitable society.”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement following the passing of Congressman Alcee Hastings:
“With Alcee Hastings’s passing, lorida has lost one of its most preeminent and passionate public servants. As a congressman, Hastings was a tireless advocate for his constituents and for fighting against civil rights injustices, and the decades he spent representing our state in the House were an inspiration to all members of the Florida congressional delegation. Working alongside him on issues like Everglades restoration has been a personal highlight in my own work in the Senate. Jeanette and I mourn his passing. We unite in prayer and offer our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Hastings’ death was reported Tuesday by numerous media organizations in Florida and Washington. Hastings announced in January 2019 that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“My doctors have stated that the advancement in the treatment of cancer is evolutionary and the success rates continue to climb resulting in a dramatic decrease in the number of cancer-related deaths,” Hastings said in a statement at the time. “I have been convinced that this is a battle worth fighting, and my life is defined by fighting battles worth fighting.”
Hastings’ 1992 election was a landmark event as he and two other Black Democrats --- Corrine Brown and Carrie Meek --- were elected to Congress.
He received praise Tuesday for his work on civil-rights issues. Deutch also said Hastings “knew the importance of bringing together the Black and Jewish communities to achieve shared goals. He was a staunch supporter of the US-Israel relationship and valued the important bilateral partnership.”
“The Jewish community has lost one of their loudest voices and defenders. RIP,” tweeted Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and a former Democratic state House member from Broward County.
A native of Altamonte Springs, Hastings graduated from Fisk University and received a law degree from Florida A&M University, according to his U.S. House webpage.