Measure To Replace Confederate Statue Passes Senate

Feb 12, 2016

Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith
Credit unknown

Florida is a step closer to replacing one—or both—of its entries in Washington D.C.’s Statuary Hall.  A measure to replace a confederate general has passed the Senate.

Every state gets two entries in Statuary Hall to honor venerable residents.  Florida’s submissions are confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith, and physician John Gorrie—a pioneer in early refrigeration.  Sen. Tom Lee (R-Brandon) voted against the measure to replace Smith, saying the Senate shouldn’t single him out.

“I just felt like if we believe that we ought to take a look at who is in statuary hall let’s pass a bill that assembles a committee to take a look at everyone that we have in there, which is two people,” Lee explains, “and let this committee decide if any of them ought to be replaced.”

“I thought this was sort of prejudicial and sent a message that we want this individual replaced, and I just wasn’t there.”

He may get his wish.  The House version of the bill is ready for the floor, but an amendment directs state officials to consider replacing Smith and Gorrie.