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Ken Sorenson, former House representative from South Florida, dies at 77

From The Florida Keys Keynoter:

 The Florida Keys lost one of the island chain’s most dynamic political figures on Friday.

Ken Sorensen, 77, died by his wife Diane's side, family friend Norman Higgins said. The cause of death was not immediately known. Tragically, his death came eight years to the day the Sorensens' son, Mark Sorensen, lost a two-year battle against lung cancer at age 48. KenSorenson

Sorensen, a retired Eastern Airlines pilot, quickly climbed the political ladder in Monroe County and gradually became a major player in the state Republican machine.

His influence and knowledge of state politics was so in demand that Florida's GOP senator and possible vice presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, hired Sorensen to work on his successful U.S. Senate campaign in 2010 against then-Gov. Charlie Crist.

Sorensen was also a powerful senior member of Rubio's staff when the senator was elected state House speaker in 2006.

Sorensen served District 120 in the Florida House of Representatives from 1998 until he was term-limited out in 2006. Ron Saunders, who now represents District 120, which includes the Keys, had a close professional relationship with Sorensen. In fact, some of Sorensen's Republican staff now works for Saunders, a Democrat.

Read more here