PANAMA CITY, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) —The former chairman of the Florida Democratic Party Charlie Whitehead died overnight.

Current executive director Scott Arceneaux informed party members Sunday that Whitehead had died overnight surrounded by his family in Panama City.

Whitehead led the Florida Democratic Party from 1980 to 1989 and again in 1999.

Party chairwoman Allison Tant said Whitehead was one of the party’s most dedicated leaders. She described him as “a happy warrior, always working for a better, more just Florida.”

Others remembered him a larger-than-life figure who helped reunite the Florida Democratic Party.

Mike Hambry served as executive director for the party from 1985 to 1989. He said Whiteman was loved by all who knew him, regardless of party affiliation. He called Whitehead’s service “a model for future political leaders.”

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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