What Happened To Katherine Harris? She Was A Key Player In The 2000 Recount
It's easy to draw parallels between our current political situation and the 2000 presidential election. With another Electoral College-popular vote split and recounts in the work, 2016 seems eerily like 2000. In 2000, there were key players in the recount other than Al Gore and George W. Bush, and some are wondering, what is Katherine Harris doing now?
Before the historic 2000 presidential race between Gore and Bush, Harris was already a household name in Florida, with an active political career that started when she served in the Florida State Senate from 1994 to 1998.
However, Harris' true national fame (or infamy, depending on your perspective) was borne during her tenure as Florida secretary of state, a role she took on in 1998. It was during the middle of her term in office that the contentious election between Gore and Bush went down, and in the end, she held the legal power to not issue a mandatory recount in Florida despite a skin-tight race full of hanging chads and questionable voter purges.
Following the election, Harris went on her own path to Washington, D.C. In 2002, Harris was successfully elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and she returned there in 2004. In 2006, Harris ran for Senate against Bill Nelson. However, the combination of her involvement in receiving an allegedly illegal donation from contractor Mitchell Wade (her spokesperson's response at the time was that the incident “demonstrates the perils of a process in which candidates are sometimes asked to determine the intent of a contributor”) and a reportedly swift exodus of staffers leaving Harris contributed to her campaign to go south.
In 2008, during her time out of the spotlight, Harris released an autobiographical book called The Center of the Storm detailing the behind-the-scenes challenges of the 2000 presidential election, as well the problem-solving skills she gleaned from the stress of the political world.
For tragic reasons, Harris once again made headlines in 2013 when her 68-year-old husband of 17 years, Anderson Ebbesen, was found dead in their home on Bay Point Drive by Sarasota police. While his loved ones preferred to keep the details private following his death, Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino shared with CNN that Harris "wanted the community, her family and friends to know that her husband is no longer suffering."
Since the death of her husband, Harris has continued to remain largely out of the public eye and isn't currently engaged in politics. At this point, it's difficult to find what her latest projects and aspirations might be, but it's worth noting that she did attend the Florida Senate's legislative reunion back in February to meet and greet old colleagues. Anything is possible at this point.