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Pasco County Commissioner Gary Bradford dies at 65

Head shot of a man in a suit and tie, smiling at the camera. There are leather chairs in front of a brick wall and a curtained doorway behind him.
Pasco County Government
Pasco County Commissioner Gary Bradford died April 21 at the age of 65. Bradford, who had been on the commission since 2022, was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after being elected.

Bradford was midway through his first term as a commissioner, representing the western and central parts of Pasco County.

Pasco County Commissioner Gary Bradford has died.

Bradford died on Sunday at the age of 65, according to a statement on the Commission's webpage.

Bradford worked for 25 years with the Tampa Police Department and then 15 years as a lobbyist for the Florida Police Benevolent Association.

The native of Akron, Ohio, lived in Florida for more than 40 years and moved to Pasco 21 years ago.

He unsuccessfully ran for a commission seat in 2020.

He was elected then to the commission in 2022, representing the western and central parts of the county while serving as Vice Chairman.

“I’m shocked and saddened to hear the news of Commissioner Bradford’s passing,” said Board Chair Ron Oakley. “My heart goes out to his family. He always had unwavering support for our law enforcement, firefighters, employees and citizens of Pasco County. I appreciate his unwavering support for doing what’s right for the citizens of Pasco County. His passing is a great loss.”

A few months after being elected, Bradford was diagnosed with leukemia.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie, and three children.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley said, since Bradford died mid-term, there will be a special election to fill the remaining two years of his term.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.