Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Phyllis Busansky RIP

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Phyllis Busansky is dead. Busansky was missing and her staffers became worried. She was found dead in a St. Augustine hotel room. She was in St. Augustine for the Florida State Association of Supervisor of Elections conference.

The Hillsborough County Supervisors of Election released this statement.

It is with great sadness the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office announces the passing of Supervisor of Elections Phyllis Busansky. Mrs. Busansky, 73, was attending the Florida State Association of Supervisor of Elections conference in St. Augustine with members of her staff at the time. She passed away sometime during the night. The cause of death is not known at this time.

Authorities do not suspect foul play. The St. Petersburg Times reports Busansky has a history of lung cancer. Supervisor of Elections spokesperson Sigrid Tidmore was with Busansky the night before she was found dead.

Tidmore was with Busansky last night, before she went to sleep about 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. She said Busansky was not complaining of any pain. When Busansky didn't respond to phone calls this morning after not showing up to today's conference meetings, hotel security went to check on her and found her dead, Tidmore said.

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chuck Mulligan said his deputies responded to a call around 9 a.m. this morning from the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village. Busanksy was found dead on the floor of her hotel room with no trauma to her body, he said, and there didn't appear to be any foul play or struggle. She appeared to have died of natural causes.

Republican Ken Hagan praised Busansky's reforms of the Supervisor of Elections office.

In her too short tenure in that office, Ms. Busansky had already greatly opened access to citizens, improved communication with the public and worked tirelessly to restore the people's confidence in the election process.

At some point in time an election will be held to fill Busansky's position. No word on that. People are absorbing the shock of Busansky's passing. She had an impressive career in Hillsborough County politics and will be missed.

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