Before tendering his resignation to Gov. Rick Scott last week, former state Education Commissioner Tony Bennett sent a two-page email to a pair of former governors.
"First, words can never express how much I respect, care for and love all of you and everything you stand for," Bennett wrote to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels on July 31, the day before his resignation was announced.
Patricia Levesque, who runs Bush's two education foundations, was also included on the email.
Bennett, a former state schools superintendent in Indiana, went on to explain why he had accepted the top education job in Florida.
"While I was never so Pollyanna to believe that I would love Governor Scott the way I love you guys, I came here to help him nonetheless," Bennett wrote. "I believed and still do that following the path you guys so bravely and astutely trailed was his ticket to a lasting legacy. I also believed that if I could help Florida recapture the lightning in a bottle that you guys caught while re-establishing your model, it would further validate you guys and your work as a model for America."
Bennett likened the school-grade controversy that consumed his last few days as education commissioner to "a living hell" for him and his family.
He went on to say he planned to resign.
Read the email below.