Dave Bitner, Republican Party of Florida Chair, Steps Down After Lou Gehrig's Disease Diagnosis

Republican Party of Florida Chair Dave Bitner will step down effective September 23. Bitner was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gherig's disease, last April. Bitner was forced to announce his plans early after someone, possibly within the RPOF, leaked the possibility of his impending retirement to the press. Way to kick a sick man when he's down.

The Shark Tank, a super conservative blog that is even controversial in Republican circles for some of its ruthless inter-party attacks, reported on the news this morning. Though, an RPOF spokesman initially denied the reports, Bitner decided to announce his retirement early.

"Whether out of malice or in the interest of political posturing, some who had been entrusted with my thoughts about the future shared that information with the media," said Bitner in a statement. "Something I would never allow to happen on my watch is for the future of the RPOF to be called into question. So, today, after talking with my wife, my friends, and trusted advisers, I have decided to resign my position as Chairman effective Friday, September 23."

Bitner, a former state lawmaker, is the third head of the RPOF in just two years. Jim Greer, Charlie Crist's handpicked head, resigned before pending criminal charges. John Thrasher held the job on an interim basis until Bitner's election earlier this year.

In his resignation letter, Bitner stated he would like to see Vice Chairman Lenny Curry replace him.

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