Friends gathered in the North Florida town of Monticello Monday afternoon to honor the life of John Culbreath, a former state House member who went on to a long career as a lobbyist for the thoroughbred racing industry in Tallahassee.
Culbreath, a native of Brooksville and son of former Hillsborough County Sheriff H.L. Culbreath, died June 25, two days before his 87th birthday.
A Democrat, Culbreath served in the House from 1967 to 1979 and chaired the House committee that oversaw the pari-mutuel racing industry. After he left the Legislature, he found prominence as the lobbyist for Gulfstream Park, a thoroughbred track in Hallandale Beach, and is credited with bringing the prestigious Breeder's Cup race there in the mid-80s. Culbreath, who also lobbied for the Florida Chiropractic Association, retired from lobbying a few years ago and lived quietly in Monticello, a picturesque town 30 miles east of Tallahassee.