Larcenia Bullard -- a former Democratic state senator who represented the Florida Keys -- has died.
She was 65.
Bullard served in the Florida House from 1992 to 2000 and in the Senate from 2002 to 2012. She left the Senate because of term limits and her son Dwight Bullard successfully ran for the seat last year.
Dwight Bullard, D-South Miami-Dade, called his mother a dedicated public servant, and he credited her for introducing him to politics.
"We all were bit by the same bug, first being a teacher and then being an elected official," Dwight Bullard said.
Larcenia Bullard was a first grade teacher before becoming a state House representative and later a state senator. Dwight Bullard was a high school teacher before being elected to the state Legislature.
Monroe County Mayor George Neugent called Larcenia Bullard "well meaning" and someone "who was always fun to be around."
"She was quite a colorful lady," Neugent said. "She always had a big bubbly smile. She was very well meaning and had a sweet disposition. She was very much interested in serving her constituents."
Neugent said Monday that he planned to write her son Dwight a letter of condolence and would attend memorial services for her.
Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement Saturday, calling her a "strong leader."
"[Scott's wife] Ann and I join all Floridians as we mourn the passing of Senator Larcenia Bullard," the governor stated. "She represented the families of South Florida with passion and integrity. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those close to her and the rest of Florida as we honor a woman who put her constituents first. We remain grateful to Senator Bullard for her service to this great state and pray that her family can find peace during this difficult time."
There will be a public memorial service for Bullard at 11 a.m. Saturday at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay.