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Jeb Bush calls for contributions to help care for former Sen. Ken Plante

Former Gov. Jeb Bush has written a letter to colleagues and friends urging them to contribute to a fund being created to help care for former Sen. Ken Plante.

"Ken's commitment to our state has earned him the respect and admiration of legislators and the media alike, and he is recognized as being a principled leader who stands up for what he believes in, regardless of political implications or fallout,'' Bush wrote in a letter sent out Friday. Plante, a veteran lobbyist, handled legislative affairs for Bush when he was elected governor in 1998.

Plante has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS, a degenerative disease with no known cure.

Bush said Plante has met the "terrible diagnosis in the way he seems to face all challenges -- with great courage, incredible resolve and unwavering faith.''

He urged friends to contribute to the Kenneth A. Plante Trust Agreement at Capital City Bank to help defray costs of medical treatment and care. Checks may be sent to Sonya Deen, 300 Jim Moran Blvd., Deerfield Beach, 33442.

Deen, lawyer/lobbyist Wilbur Brewton and former Rep. Dale Patchett are trustees of the newly created trust.

-- Lucy Morgan, Tampa Bay Times senior correspondent