Duval County

Betty Holzendorf, 1939-2024: Longtime Florida legislator who represented Duval dies at the age of 84

Betty Holzendorf

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A former Florida Senator and Representative from Northeast Florida has died, Action News Jax has confirmed.

Betty Holzendorf died Thursday, according to a Facebook post from the Duval County Democratic Party. According to her Florida House biography, she was 84 at the time of her death.


Holzendorf, a Democrat, served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1988-1992 and in the Florida Senate from 1992 to 2002, according to her House and Senate biographies.

She was a candidate for Jacksonville’s mayor in the 2003 city election, a race that was ultimately won by Republican John Peyton.

She was an alumna of both Edward Waters University and the University of North Florida, receiving her bachelor’s degree from the former and her master’s in educational administration from the latter.

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A street on the UNF campus is named after her.

Holzendorf was married to King Holzendorf, who served on the Jacksonville City Council for two terms, from 1995 to 2003.

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The Duval County Democratic Party shared the following statement on Holzendorf’s death:

“STATEMENT: One of our city’s legendary leaders and proudest Democrats, former State Senator Betty Holzendorf, has passed today. Words cannot express the deepest gratitude and honor we have for her dedicated service to our community. A fierce advocate for education, affordable housing, healthcare, and the re-nourishment of the beaches, Betty always exuded integrity, a fighter spirit, and a love for our city.

“Duval Dems and the residents of Jacksonville are forever grateful for her dedicated service to our community. We send our condolences and deepest sympathies to the Holzendorf family. May her memory forever endure — Rest in Power.”

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