Katherine Harris (left) speaks with her husband Anders Ebbeson on Capitol Hill on November 12, 2002.
Sarasota, Florida - Her political career attracted national attention during the 2000 Presidential election. Today Katherine Harris, Florida's former Secretary of State, mourns her husband's apparent suicide in Sarasota.
"If there ever was a saint, it was Anders. He was just a beautiful human being," says family friend Graci McGillicuddy. Graci is one of many friends and family members by Harris' side.
Family members say her husband, 68-year-old Anders Ebbeson, committed suicide in their Sarasota bay-front home. Sarasota Police received a call from the home before 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Pastor William Hild of Sarasota First Baptist Church says, "Anders had been suffering recently. He had a health condition, health issues... he dealt with those. They had become increasingly a part of his life, having to deal with those."
Harris married Anders, a Swedish businessman, back in 1996. Graci says she knew them back then.
"Their first date was magic," she recalls. "All the group of girlfriends were so excited that she finally met someone who was truly wonderful."
Harris' political career began in the Florida Senate in 1994. In 1998, Harris became Florida's Secretary of State. During that time, Harris gained national attention for the Florida recount controversy during the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election. In 2003, Harris moved on to the U.S. House of Representatives and in 2007 she ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.
Graci says to friends, they were just known simply as Katherine and Anders. She adds, "He was her rock. Katherine was the public person, he was her solid rock, the wind beneath her wings."
According to Pastor Hild, funeral services are scheduled for Saturday afternoon at the Sarasota First Baptist Church on Main Street in Downtown Sarasota. Hild says a time has yet to be set.
Funeral services will be open to the public.