Former Congressman Syd Herlong Dies at 86
LEESBURG, Fla. (AP) _ A.S. ``Syd″ Herlong, a powerful Florida congressman for 20 years who helped bring the Kennedy Space Center to Brevard County, died at home Wednesday after a long illness. He was 86.
Herlong had been bedridden since suffering a stroke three years ago.
The 5th Congressional District, which Herlong represented from 1949-1969, included Lake, Orange, Brevard, Seminole, Volusia and Osceola counties, making him one of the most influential men in central Florida. He lobbied to bring the space center to his constituency.
A Democrat throughout his political career, Herlong supported Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1968. Herlong left Congress in 1969, but served several years on the Securities and Exchange Commission under Nixon.
In 1985, he switched to the Republican party because of its increasing influence in central Florida and his desire to vote in Republican primaries.