Jim Sebesta, who spent a lot of his time within the Senate making an attempt to maintain Floridians secure, has died. He was 88 and lived in St. Petersburg. Sebesta served within the state Senate from 1998 to 2006 and chaired the Transportation Committee, the place he launched or co-sponsored quite a few payments for freeway security.

Many years earlier, he was Gov. Claude Kirk’s decide to wash up the picture of Hillsborough County’s elections workplace. In between, Sebesta bought actual property.

“He was a beautiful man,” mentioned former Sen. Jack Latvala, who served alongside him within the late Nineteen Nineties. “Throughout, he was the very best human being that I’ve ever recognized.”

Born Aug. 24, 1935, in Pontiac, Illinois, Sebesta graduated from Loyola College in Chicago after which earned an MBA at DePaul College. He moved his household to the Tampa Bay space and, in 1970, was appointed by Kirk to function Hillsborough County’s Supervisor of Elections.

Sebesta changed Jim Truthful, who the Governor had suspended for alleged incompetence and malfeasance. Sebesta ran the supervisor’s workplace till 1974.

“He was completely a straight arrow,” Latvala mentioned. “He was introduced in to wash up the workplace and he did that.”

In 1974, Sebesta determined to run for Secretary of State. Latvala, who was simply getting began in politics then, wished to run the marketing campaign. With a funds of simply $50,000 and operating within the shadow of President Richard Nixon’s compelled resignation and subsequent pardon, it was an uphill battle.

Sebesta did lose to the Democrat, however not by a blowout margin.

Later, he mixed actual property along with his Catholic religion, serving as director of actual property and growth for the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Sebesta was again in politics in 1996, preventing vigorously for security requirements.

It wasn’t nearly automobiles. Sebesta additionally tried unsuccessfully to place extra stringent rules on parasailing, an exercise he himself loved. However after seeing that the state allowed scores of operators to host parasail rides with “just about no supervision or regulation,” he stopped taking part and tried to tighten requirements.

Legislators noticed these efforts as an excessive amount of authorities intrusion. It wasn’t till 2014 that the state lastly handed parasailing tools requirements, seven years after 15-year-old Amber White died in an accident.

“I’m just about a free enterprise man,” Sebesta instructed a newspaper after Amber’s loss of life. “And I don’t like authorities regulation. However I believed, on this case, that was one thing that was fairly darn necessary.”

Sebesta based a consulting service following his exit from the Senate in 2006. He shall be remembered as a reliable public servant and a loyal household man.

“Individuals have to know what sort of a man Jim was,” Latvala mentioned.

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