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Florida mourns loss of John Lewis, Gov. DeSantis tweets

Gov. Ron DeSantis served alongside Lewis while in Congress from 2013-18.
Credit: AP
FILE - This June 16, 2010 file photo, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., participates in a ceremony to unveil two plaques recognizing the contributions of enslaved African Americans in the construction of the United States Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lewis, who carried the struggle against racial discrimination from Southern battlegrounds of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, has died. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed his passing late Friday, July 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida mourns the loss of the late civil rights leader and lawmaker, Georgia Rep. John Lewis, Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted Saturday evening.

DeSantis worked alongside Lewis as a congressman himself from 2013-18 before being elected governor. Lewis held a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1987.

Lewis in December announced he was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. He died Friday at the age of 80.

"Our state and nation mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon whom I was honored to serve alongside in Congress. @FLCaseyDeSantis and I are keeping his family in our thoughts and prayers," DeSantis tweeted.

The son of sharecroppers, it was at 15 that the dream inside Lewis ignited into a life-long, life force as he watched the news of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Feeding on the revolutionary ideas and ideals of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. changed his life.

“Rosa Parks and Dr. King taught me how to get involved.  They inspired me… they helped to make me the person that I am today,” Lewis said.

A reporter at DeSantis' coronavirus news briefing Saturday intertwined a question about the late civil rights leader with the nationwide conversation on "race, monuments (and) flags." Before letting the reporter finish and passing on an opportunity to reflect upon Lewis' death, DeSantis said he wanted to "focus on the coronavirus" and called upon another reporter.

RELATED: Tributes to Rep. John Lewis shared by civil rights luminaries, colleagues, celebrities across the globe

RELATED: President Trump sends message of condolence on passing of John Lewis

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