Former GOP Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio died Wednesday at age 62 after battling pancreatic cancer.
A centrist Republican who was a close friend of former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), LaTourette was known on Capitol Hill for his friendliness, common-sense approach to politics and memorable quips to reporters.
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“All of us in the House will miss our friend and colleague, Steve LaTourette. Nobody could match his fierce sense of duty— or his great sense of humor,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement Wednesday night.
Remembrances from Democrats and Republicans started pouring in Wednesday night, with Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge tweeting her “heart was heavy” after hearing the news and GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi describing LaTourette as “a devoted servant,” “mentor” and “one of a kind.”
“His laughter, wisdom, wit and strong resolve will be missed by all who encountered him,” Tiberi (R-Ohio) said in a statement.
Boehner also remarked on the loss of his close friend: “Steve LaTourette was one of the most honest and loyal souls I ever had the privilege of knowing. With his passing, I have lost a friend, and Ohio has lost a dedicated servant.”
LaTourette was known as a transportation booster for northeast Ohio, having served for many years on the House Transportation Committee before taking a plum assignment on the Appropriations Committee. As an appropriator, he was a member of the panel responsible for setting transportation spending levels.
LaTourette retired amid frustration over the growing partisanship in Congress. At the time, he denied his reason for retirement was related to being passed over for the House Transportation Committee chairmanship.
Sharp-tongued and quick-witted, he wasn’t afraid to take aim at his own party, calling the …