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Sansom gets love in House farewells

The members of the House's "senior class" are giving farewell speeches in the final two weeks. Beyond the abhorrent length of the goodbye remarks, it's interesting to note one name that keeps getting mentioned: former Speaker Ray Sansom.

Sansom, a Destin Republican, resigned earlier this year under the weight of a criminal probe and ethics complaint into his secret budget projects. The criminal indictment of Sansom condemned the legislative process as a whole for its secrecy and the influence of special interests.

But apparently some lawmakers see it differently. Reps. Juan Zapata, Mary Bradenburg and Baxter Troutman all thanked Sansom for his leadership and friendship. It's striking given that most House members were reluctant to defend Sansom as the criminal investigation unfolded.

On Tuesday, Troutman, a Winter Haven Republican, called the Sansom scandal an "unnecessary witch hunt."

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