Husband of former FL Sec. State Katherine Harris commits suicide - WFLA News Channel 8

Husband of former FL Sec. State Katherine Harris commits suicide

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Police officers responded to a report of a possible suicide at the home at 1420 Bay Point Drive around 7:30 a.m.. Police officers responded to a report of a possible suicide at the home at 1420 Bay Point Drive around 7:30 a.m..
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - The husband of former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris committed suicide Tuesday morning. Anders Ebbeson was 68 years-old.

Police officers responded to a report of a possible suicide at the home at 1420 Bay Point Drive around 7:30 a.m..

Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino told reporters that Harris' husband had taken his own life. Harris, who was at the home Tuesday morning, told police that Ebbeson had been suffering from an illness, although investigators declined to give details on Ebbeson's condition.

"We're asking the community respect the family at this difficult time.  Mrs. Harris wanted the community, her family and friends to know that her husband is no longer suffering," said DiPino.

Pastor William Hild of the First Baptist Church of Sarasota is the Harris family's pastor. He spoke to reporters Tuesday morning.

"The family is asking for privacy, prayers, thoughts and love from the community," said Hild.

Hild also said the family is unsure whether Ebbeson's condition led him to take his own life.

"Anders had been suffering recently from some health conditions and he had been attempting to deal with those," Hild said. "But they had become increasingly part of his life. Whether that's cause for his actions, we do not know."
     
Police have not released any other details about Ebbeson's death. The couple live in a posh waterfront French chateau-style home that overlooks Sarasota Bay.

Family friend, Graci McGillicuddy said Harris is surrounded by loved ones inside her home. McGillicuddy described Ebbeson as a special person.

"If there ever, ever was  saint, it was Anders," she said. "He was Katherine's rock and the most beautiful human being you've ever met in your entire life."

Harris was thrust into the national spotlight during the 2000 presidential race between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George Bush. Harris was Secretary of State at the time and was a central figure in the recount effort after it was discovered that there were only 537 votes that separated Gore and Bush.

Harris later went on to represent Florida's 13th District in the United States House of Representatives.

Stay with WFLA.com for updates on this developing story.

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