JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Prominent local political donor and President of Total Military Management Kent Stermon has died. Initially reported by Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics, Stermon was a known friend of Governor Ron DeSantis as well as Mayor Lenny Curry. He was 50-years-old at the time of his death.
Stermon died by suicide, according to the Atlantic Beach Police Department.
“My heartfelt condolences to Kent Stermon's family during this difficult time. I cannot imagine their pain and heartbreak. My thoughts and prayers are with them," Curry said in a statement.
Stermon was appointed to the Florida Board of Governors by DeSantis in 2019. The Board issued the following statement following the news of his death:
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Governor Kent Stermon. For the last three years, Kent has served on this board with distinction. He has been a champion of higher education and student success in Florida and a long-time supporter of the University of North Florida in many ways throughout the years. The Board of Governors sends its heartfelt condolences to Kent’s family during this difficult time."
Stermon also served on several nonprofit boards including Boys and Girls Club, Dreams Come True and NFCA of Northeast Florida.
He was known to have a close working relationship with local law enforcement agencies. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and Saint Johns County Sheriff's Office have both named him Citizen of the Year.
First Coast News has reached out to DeSantis for comment but has not heard back yet.
Police responded to reports of an unresponsive man in his car around 8 p.m. on Thursday night. Stermon was found alone in a locked vehicle in the US Post Office parking lot at 1001 Mayport Road, ABPD said in a statement. He had been reported as missing to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office shortly before he was found.
No further details have been released by the police, at this time, out of respect for Stermon's family.
First Coast News was at the scene on Thursday night due to police activity, before officials announced the man in the car was Stermon.