Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee announced Friday that he will be stepping down from his job at the end of September.
Gee, a Republican who has served in his position since 2004, and was re-elected last year to another four-year term when he failed to draw a Democratic challenger.
“This decision has not been made lightly and was one of the most difficult decisions that I have made in my career,” Gee said in a statement. “Each of my Sheriff’s Office family and the citizens of our community is very important to me. I have dedicated my life to serving others and hope that I have served well.”
The statement from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said that Gee would not be speaking with the media today.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who worked with Gee for a number of years when she was at the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s office, released a statement praising Gee for his “humility, integrity and selflessness.”
“His career exemplifies what it means to be a servant leader,” Bondi said. “I am blessed to call Sheriff Gee one of my dearest friends and most trusted advisers. I so greater admire the sacrifices both he and his wife, Rhonda, have made to ensure the safety and well-being of the people of Hillsborough County. His impact will last forever in our community.”
Gee is a lifelong resident of Hillsborough County who has served in the Sheriff’s Office for over forty years. He moved his way up the ranks, working as a homicide investigator, Internal Affairs supervisor, Public Information Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Deputy until he was elected Sheriff in 2004.
Over the years, Gee was often discussed as a potential candidate for another political office but steadfastly declined any such opportunities.
There will need to be a special election to succeed Gee, as his term was not up until 2020.