Florida Republican Party Chair Bitner Dies

Bitner dies at 62 after battle with Lou Gehrig's disease

Republican Party Chairman David Bitner is dead at the age of 62.

Party officials said that Bitner died Thursday after a brief battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which is more commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

A Maryland native who moved to Florida in 1967, Bitner announced just eight days ago that he was planning to retire from the position as party chair on Sept. 23.

The former state representative from Port Charlotte learned in April that he had ALS, an incurable disease that progressively attacks the brain and spine and leads to complete paralysis. Bitner said at the time he announced his diagnosis that he would carry out his duties as long as he could.

There were no details immediately available on funeral arrangements.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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