Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bill McBride: 1945-2012; Ex-Candidate Was 'Larger Than Life' Lawyer Ran for Governor against Bush in 2002

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bill McBride: 1945-2012; Ex-Candidate Was 'Larger Than Life' Lawyer Ran for Governor against Bush in 2002

Article excerpt

Byline: Charles Broward

Those who knew Bill McBride said he was a true leader in the legal and political world. But they said, away from it all, he preferred a handshake and a casual conversation much more.

"Where he wanted to be was with people who he thought of himself as - just a hardworking, concerned person," said lawyer and longtime friend Buddy Schulz. "He would rather be at a backyard barbecue. ... He enjoyed being with people, and people enjoyed being with him."

The former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate died over the weekend. McBride, 67, was in Mount Airy, N.C., with his family, including his wife, Alex Sink, also a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, when he had a heart attack Saturday evening, his friends and colleagues said.

"I lost my best friend," said Schulz, an attorney at Holland and Knight's Jacksonville office, where McBride worked for many years as a managing partner. "He was a strong, yet sensitive man. He spent every waking hour trying to help others."

Schulz said McBride would sometimes go knocking on doors in the evening when his son was growing up to make sure the boys he coached in Little League baseball were doing their studies. Schulz said the two knew of each other in high school, roomed together in law school at the University of Florida and then both fought in the Vietnam War where McBride, a Marine, earned a Bronze Star.

Former State Attorney Harry Shorstein also met McBride while at UF. Shorstein, who also fought in Vietnam, said McBride was "much more of a war hero" than he. Shorstein said McBride was also a hero and leader of the legal profession.

AFTER THE ELECTION

McBride touted his military background during his run for governor in 2002. Many at that time said they thought it successfully swayed many Republican voters his way, according to Times-Union archives. He defeated former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to win the Democratic primary and run against Jeb Bush.

Following his defeat, McBride became a managing partner at Barnett, Bolt, Kirkwood, Long and McBride, Attorneys at Law, in Tampa, where he remained until his death. …

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