The husband of former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris died in what police say is an apparent suicide at the couple's Sarasota home.
Harris and a family spokesperson told local press and police Tuesday that Anders Ebbeson, 69, was ill and suffering before he took his own life.
Pastor William Hild of Sarasota First Baptist Church asked the press and public to respect the family's privacy.
“Anders has been suffering health conditions that he'd been attempting to deal with, which had been increasingly part of his life,” Hild said, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Harris, a Republican, retired from public life after losing a U.S. Senate race to incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in 2006. At the time, Harris served in the House of Representatives, a post she won in 2002.
Harris, when she was Florida Secretary of State, attained worldwide fame and notoriety as the face of the disputed 2000 Florida recount that ultimately allowed George W. Bush to become president.
Throughout, Ebbeson was quietly married to the outspoken Harris, a citrus-fortune heiress and descendant of Ben Hill Griffin, whose name graces the University of Florida's football stadium in Gainesville.
A dozen years older than Harris, Ebbeson was independently wealthy, enjoyed racing cars and had wed Harris in two ceremonies in Port Charlotte and then Paris in 1996 when she was still a state legislator.