Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The husband of former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris was found dead Tuesday by apparent suicide.
Anders Ebbesen, 68, had reportedly been suffering from an undisclosed illness, "but it is unknown if that is why he took his own life," said William Hild, pastor at the First Baptist Church of Sarasota, in a statement released by the Sarasota police.
"The family is asking for privacy, prayers, thoughts and love from the community," Hild said, adding that Ebbesen reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police responded to a call reporting the suicide at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Sarasota police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge. Officials did not disclose the nature of Ebbesen's illness.
Harris, who rose to national prominence as the official overseeing the contentious recount of Florida's votes in the 2000 presidential election, "wanted the community, her family and friends to know that her husband is no longer suffering," said Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino.
After serving as Secretary of State, Harris was elected to two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, and ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Senate in 2006.