Prominent local political donor, businessman found dead on Atlantic Beach subject to JSO investigation

Atlantic Beach, Fla. – A prominent Northeast Florida businessman and well-known political donor has died.

Kent Sterman was found dead in his car Thursday night at the Mayport Post Office in Atlantic Beach, according to multiple sources. He is 50 years old.

Police said there was no foul play in the death.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Stermone was the subject of an “active investigation” that began weeks before his death.

“This investigation is currently ongoing and will continue until its conclusion. As with all active investigations, there is limited information to release at this time. However, once this investigation is complete, all applicable information will be released to the public,” Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters said in a statement to News4JAX.

Florida Politics reported Stermone also dealt with health issues and suffered a stroke on Monday.

Former state Rep. Travis Cummings told News4JAX that he and Stermone were college roommates and close friends.

“My family and the NE Florida community are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend Kent Stermone. I ask that everyone keep Christy and Abby in their thoughts and prayers, while respecting their privacy. “I don’t think Kent’s contributions to our community, our first responders and those in need will ever be fully known or realized,” Cummings wrote in a statement to News4JAX.

Sterman served as a board member in the State University System of Florida. According to the group’s website, Sterman was chairman of the Total Military Administration and served on the Florida Highway Patrol Advisory Board and chaired the Governor’s Public Safety Transition Advisory Board.

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A longtime friend of Gov. Ron DeSantis and Mayor Lenny Curry, Sterman was a well-connected political consultant to the Duval County GOP.

Sheriff Waters sent his condolences to the Sterman family.

“My condolences go out to the Sterman family in their time of loss. No doubt, their grief will be great, and my heart goes out to them,” Waters said.

DeSantis’ director of communications, Taryn Fenske, sent News4JAX a statement.

“The governor and first lady were shocked and saddened to hear of Kent’s passing, and their prayers (and the prayers of our entire office) are with his family during this difficult time,” the statement read.

The incident surrounding his death is being investigated by the Atlantic Coast Police Department, JSO said. Further information regarding this should be sent to them.

In 2015, Sterman was named Citizen of the Year by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

News4JAX has reached out to Duval GOP and other local leaders for comment.

Prominent local political donor and businessman Kent Sterman (center in white shirt) with former Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and others in 2015. (Copyright 2022 WJXT News4Jax – All Rights Reserved.)

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All Rights Reserved.

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