At a time when mental health is becoming a prominent topic in the current political atmosphere because of the recent Parkland shooting, it’s been reported by the Tampa Bay Times that Rob Wallace, a former GOP representative from Tampa Bay, has committed suicide.
Having served in the Florida house from 1994 until the end of his term limit in 2002, representing northern Pinellas counties and northwest Hillsborough, Representative Wallace jumped 50 feet onto the Gunn Highway according to the medical report by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner.
He is survived by his wife, and he is remembered by his strong grassroot victory over the incumbent who outspent his campaign.
In Wallace’s victory speech, he reminded his supporters that “Truman said that money doesn’t win elections, people do. I wanted to prove that,” which he did because “the key was reaching people, going out walking the district door-to-door and waving signs on Dale Mabry and in Downtown Tarpon Springs.”
The report went on to list that he had been suffering from depression for years, and he was also taking medications for mood disorders. And, pointing out the misunderstanding and stigmatization of mental health, a close friend of Wallace’s and former state senator, John Grant, commented that Wallace’s suicide “proves how much we don’t know about how to fight mental illness.”
In addition, Gilbert Singer, a Tampa attorney, praised Wallace’s time served, saying that Wallace was “a conservative’s conservative,” and that “he went to Tallahassee to really make a difference. He never wanted power; he just wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.”