Popular Freshman Legislator Hospitalized

Newly elected Florida House of Representatives member David Coley of Marianna is hospitalized with a form of liver cancer.

Coley, who was a legislative aid for Rep. Allan Bense of Panama City, was elected in November to replace Rep. Bev Kilmer. Coley was sworn in just two months ago.

He did not attend a Bay County legislative public meeting Thursday night and Rep. Bense said Rep. Coley had been diagnosed with a form of cancer affecting the liver. He's currently hospitalized with an infection.

Bense said his long-time friend's cancer was not as aggressive as doctors originally thought and Coley is currently evaluating his treatment options.

Bense, who is Speaker of the Florida House sent an e-mail to fellow lawmakers yesterday telling them, “While he faces some tough times ahead, it is no surprise to all of us who know him that Dave is facing this adversity with the same determination and optimism with which he has served the public for years.”