Fla GOP chief Bitner diagnosed with ALSby John Kennedy | April 29th, 2011
Florida Republican Party chairman Dave Bitner has been diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a party spokesman said Friday.
Bitner has been in a mechanized wheelchair for a couple months suffering from what had been thought to be neuropathy. But within the past week, tests have revealed the former state lawmaker has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal column.
“He feels great,” GOP spokesman Trey Stapleton said of Bitner, who was elected to a two-year term as chairman in January, succeeding Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine. “The guy comes in every day with a big smile on his face. He has a lot of things he wants to do for the party in the coming year.”
Stapleton said Bitner has no plans to step down. Florida will host the Republican National Convention in August, planned for Tampa.