Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings has died at age 84 after a two-year fight with pancreatic cancer, Fox News has confirmed.
Hastings, who served in the House for nearly three decades, represented Florida’s 20th Congressional district, which included Democratic areas around Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
In late 2018, Hastings was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. For two years he continued doing public appearances between medical treatments. In his final days, he was admitted to hospice care.
“Alcee was a fighter, and he fought this terrible disease longer than most. He faced it fearlessly, and at times even made fun of it,” said Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness.
Fellow Florida Democrat, Rep. Val Demings, said Hastings “brought passion & unwavering dedication to the fight for justice.”
“U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings served his constituents as a civil rights attorney, judge, and Dean of our Congressional delegation. He changed the face of politics in FL and brought passion & unwavering dedication to the fight for justice. We are forever grateful for a life well lived,” Demings wrote.
Democrats hold a slim 218-211 advantage in the House after Hastings’ passing. There will be five vacancies once Rep.-elect Julia Letlow, R-La., is sworn into office.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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Eric Clapton Raises $2.2 Million for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Presidential Campaign
Rock and Roll and Blues legend Eric Clapton took center stage at a recent campaign fundraiser, raising an impressive $2.2 million for Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Clapton’s electrifying performance at a private concert in Los Angeles underscored his support for Kennedy’s primary campaign against President Biden, making headlines across the nation.
The event, which featured Clapton’s iconic guitar prowess and took place against the backdrop of a prominent Kennedy 2024 banner, was a resounding success, according to a campaign press release. According to reports from Fox News, of the $2.2 million raised, $1 million directly benefited Kennedy’s campaign, while the remaining $1.2 million bolstered a political action committee supporting the Democrat’s bid for the presidency.
Attendees eager to support Kennedy’s campaign invested a cool $6,600 per ticket, as reported by the Daily Mail, to witness Clapton’s musical artistry and to lend their support to the candidate. Kennedy expressed his deep gratitude to Clapton for his role in the event, emphasizing the unifying power of music in today’s divided society.
“I am deeply grateful to Eric Clapton for bringing his musical artistry and rebellious spirit to my gathering in Los Angeles last night,” Kennedy remarked in the press release. He added, “I sometimes think that in our divided society, it is music rather than any kind of intellectual agreement that has the most potential to bring us together again. Eric sings from the depths of the human condition.”
Kennedy also credited artists like Clapton for invoking faith in the limitless power of human beings to overcome obstacles and unite the nation. The campaign event not only showcased Clapton’s performance but also included a private dinner attended by Kennedy, his wife Cheryl Hines, Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills & Nash fame, and former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, I-Hawaii.
However, not everyone in attendance aligned with Kennedy’s presidential aspirations. Stephen Stills, who was initially present at the fundraiser, made it clear afterward that his support remained firmly behind President Biden. According to the Daily Beast, Stills issued a statement through a spokesperson, affirming his allegiance to the incumbent president.
“I support President Biden,” Stills declared. “I was there as a guest to support Eric Clapton, who performed.”
The event served as a notable intersection of music, politics, and fundraising, underlining the influential role that artists and musicians can play in shaping the political landscape and contributing to presidential campaigns.
With Kennedy’s campaign coffers significantly bolstered by Clapton’s performance, the 2024 presidential race continues to garner attention and financial support from a diverse array of donors and influencers.
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