Mitch Ceasar On John Lewis: World Lost A Giant, But I Lost A Friend






The world lost a giant, but I lost a friend.

Civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis passed having lost his fight against cancer, probably one of the very few fights he did not win.


U. S. Rep. John Lewis with Mitch Ceasar, former Florida and Broward Democratic Chairman


We met through Congressman Alcee Hastings, but John had been a hero to me most of my life. He was known for his non-violent civil protests since he was a young man. His civil approach built his great legacy. He became a transcendent figure in American history making his activism about the American character, specifically appealing to our better angels.

I always felt blessed to be with him, especially in private moments.

For example, when he flew to Broward for a Democratic fundraiser, he waited for everyone to leave as he had greeted each person attending. He sampled every dessert, of which there were many on the buffet. He then took great joy in explaining that had his wife been present, that “recklessness” would have been impossible.

He was always real.

Or, when I attended a function during a low moment of my life John was the guest speaker. He came off the dais yelling my name, just so we could meet in the middle of the room to give me a hug. Once again he lifted me up by his heart.

John was a gentle soul living his life to give us all hope and optimism. In doing so, he is now part of the arc of history. I will miss him terribly.

Perhaps the best way to honor his legacy is to make “some good trouble.”

(Mitch Ceasar, a Plantation lawyer, is the former Florida and Broward County Democratic Party chair. He is a candidate for Broward Supervisor of Elections.)

6 Responses to “Mitch Ceasar On John Lewis: World Lost A Giant, But I Lost A Friend”

  1. Free Free at Last says:

    What a disgrace Mitch Ceasar is using the image of a true American Hero to pander votes from our community.

    Mitch Ceasar has a history of riding the coattails of others in our community, He has never produced one positive benefit that affected one soul other than himself.

    Buddy, shame on you for allowing your name to be used in his self promotion.

    Congressman John Lewis wore the physical scars from the battles that he fought for freedom.

  2. The Eagle says:

    To #1: If I understand your comment correctly, it implies that Mitch Ceasar should not be allowed to publicly comment on the death of his friend Representative John Lewis, simply because Mr. Ceasar is running for office in Broward County. It’s really sad that even this piece written by Mr. Ceasar is objectionable.

    We know that Representative Lewis served the people of Georgia in the US House for 33 years. And, we know that for twenty of those years, Mr. Ceasar was Chairman of the Broward Democrat Party. It’s no surprise they developed a friendship, and there’s no reason to take someone to task for sincere comments particularly based upon personal memories.

    What it seems to me that people might want to focus on is the sacrifice made by Representative Lewis during his lifetime to further the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Most specifically, the words often misquoted are: “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

    Representative Lewis died knowing that with groups such as BLM having increasing influence, Dr King’s words and their meaning have been lost. For now, those of us minorities who have worked hard and risen above, are referred to as sell-outs, Uncle Tom or not being real minorities at all. And, the mantra has become “judge us by the color of our skin because you owe us.”

    Representative Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr. stood for something. Today’s movement stands for nothing. Glorifying failure was never part of the American Dream. To this day, minorities yearn to come to America, not because she is racist, but because she is not.

    I’m glad Mr. Ceasar wrote about Representative Lewis and shared his story. I was fortunate to meet Representative Lewis once. He was a great man. He stood for far more than those who wish to erase history. He was smart enough to understand history and to know the pre-internet times when facts meant something. I wish him peace and thank him for his vision.

  3. Joseph DeAngelis says:

    See the film Selma.

  4. Hollywood Gal says:

    Warm recollection of a great man. Thank you Mr. Ceasar for sharing.

  5. David Brown says:

    John Lewis was a great American. I would be proud if I were able to call him a friend as MITCH CEASAR is.

    What I do find politically and ethically offensive is a new Jen GOTTLIEB mailer that on one side shows many of her endorsements and a picture of her with Michelle Obama.

    She is clearly trying to make voters jump to the conclusion that she’s been endorsed by the former first lady but she has not. I’m sure she’ll try and deny it if questioned but that’s clearly what she is attempting to do. No integrity there for a person who wants to run BROWARD elections.

    I ran for supervisor of elections in 2000 against Miriam Olyphant and in 2016 against BRENDA SNIPES. In my 20s I was the chief legislative assistant to two dEMOCRATIC congressman In Washington DC. I have pictures and letters from presidents and congressman and governors but I never use them in a way that would suggest their endorsement. Neither should GOTTLIEB.

    Buddy, in the rare instances I comment on this blog I always do so using my real name. I wish more who comment would do the same. Anonymous or pseudonym commenters lack the integrity to stand behind their words.


    David, I was going to write about Gottlieb’s use of Michelle Obama’s picture, but you did it for me.

    You are right, David. Gottlieb’s use of the Michelle Obama picture looks like an attempt to fool voters into believing she was endorsed by the former First Lady.

    But it is not a surprise from somebody who told the Sun-Sentinel that they never read the Grand Jury report targeting the Broward School Board and their own role in questionable actions. A big hunk of the report is about her and she never read it!

    Jen, your nose is growing. It is just not believable you didn’t read the report.

    Did your political consultant advise you to make up such an excuse to avoid answering questions about the report? If so, fire them because the statement made you look untruthful.

  6. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Mitch Cesar worked with Congressman Lewis who I only knew as a voice on the phone from Civil Rights days of the Msrch on Washington n once in DC. Miss Gottlieb had one photo taken. I once had a photo with Governor Crist at Barnes n Noble in Ft Lauderdale. SHOULD I PUT IT UP N SAY I KNOW THE GOVERNOR BECAUSE OF A PHOTO?.Reminds me frankly of a camdidate in my Commussion District who used a photo of the then current COMMISSION WHO ENDORSED HIS OPPONENT in his mailings to try (unsuccessfully) to deceive me n my neighbors. IT IS DISHONEST while Mr Cesar is NOT.