Former Osceola County chairman, Florida state representative, and Kissimmee Mayor Frank Attkisson was killed Thursday night when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Attkisson, 61, was riding on Kissimmee Park Road near St. Cloud around 6:30 p.m. Thursday when his bike was struck from behind by a car driven by 26-year-old Kristie Jean Knoebel of St. Cloud, according to the patrol. The crash is being investigated.

Attkisson was transported to Osceola Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Republican served a long political career that began on the Kissimmee City Council in the early 1990s and included a stint as Kissimmee mayor from 1996-2000. He served in the House of Representatives from 2000-2008, when he was term limited out.

In 2010 he ran for and won a seat on the Osceola County Commission, and two years later was elected the commission’s chairman. However, he lost re-election in 2014.

Remembrances include that from his former Republican colleague in the House of Representatives, state Sen. Dennis Baxley.

“Frank Attkisson was a great leader, a great Floridian, and a great man, and I am deeply saddened by his death,” Baxley, of Lady Lake, said in a statement his office released. “It was an honor to serve with him in the Florida Legislature. His commitment to public service with the highest standards of integrity should serve as an example to all of us.”

Republican State Rep. Bob Cortes of Altamonte Springs sent similar thoughts.

“Frank Attkisson was a great public servant whom I deeply respect,” Cortes said in a statement. “His loss is a tragedy not just for his family but for all of us in this community who benefitted from his hard work and leadership over his long career.”

 

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