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Dorothy Hukill extends legislative absence as she fights cancer

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State Sen. Dorothy Hukill will be absent from the upcoming committee week as she continues her battle against cervical cancer, a Senate spokeswoman said Thursday.

“We expect her to return within a few weeks,” Katie Betta told FloridaPolitics.com. “Until then, she will remain engaged in the legislative process by working remotely as she continues her treatment and recovery.”

The Port Orange Republican disclosed her condition last November in a letter to Senate President Joe Negron.

“I am fortunate that it (is) in the early stages and my medical team advises that my prognosis for full recovery is good,” wrote Hukill, the chamber’s Education Committee chair and vice chair of its Regulated Industries panel.

Hukill, an attorney, was first elected to the Senate in 2012 after having served in the House.

Another lawmaker, state Rep. Dan Raulerson, had been away from the Capitol recently as he was dealing with back issues, leading to speculation he was stepping down from office.

Untrue, the Plant City Republican said in December: “It’s third grade playground stuff, and you can quote me on that.” Raulerson couldn’t be immediately reached by phone Thursday.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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