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Politics / Issues

Former State GOP Chair Slade Dead at 78

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www.tallahassee.com

Tom Slade, who led the Republican Party of Florida as Jeb Bush rose to power, died after being hospitalized last week for heart failure. He was 78.

A spokeswoman for the family confirmed the Monday afternoon death.

Slade led the party from 1993 to 1999, a period in which Bush lost a 1994 election to Gov. Lawton Chiles, Republicans took over the Legislature and Bush won the governorship in 1998.

The governor's mansion, House, Senate and Cabinet were all controlled by Democrats when Slade took over the party.

His political career began when he was elected to the state House in 1962. He was elected to the Senate in 1966.

He unsuccessfully ran for the GOP's national chairmanship in 1999 and later started a lobbying and political consulting firm.

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