WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) — Former Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette, a Republican known for his moderate brand of politics, died on Wednesday at the age of 62 of pancreatic cancer.
LaTourette was elected to Congress in 1994 as part of a GOP wave that flipped the House of Representatives to Republican control for the first time in 40 years. Once he joined Congress in 1995, LaTourette hired humor columnist Dave Barry to serve as his temporary press secretary.
He would side moderately on issues including labor, health and social services, but voted more conservatively on issues like abortions and firearms. Though he voted against same-sex marriage legislation early in his congressional career, LaTourette in 2015 signed a legal brief urging the Supreme Court to make it legal.
Due to his even temper and deep knowledge of House rules and procedures, leaders in the House would often call on LaTourette to oversee combative debates occurring in the House.
When LaTourette left Congress in 2012, Ohio Republican Rep. Patrick Tiberi praised LaTourette’s bipartisan nature during a speech.
“It didn’t matter who you were or what you were about or if you had an “R” or a “D” by your name with respect to Steve,” Tiberi said. “If he believed in your cause, he was your partner and he was going to do everything within his power to make sure that cause, that issue, was going to be solved. He didn’t always win, but he surely went down swinging every time he took that cause up.”
LaTourette was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014. He is survived by his wife Jennifer and six children, Sarah, Amy, Clare, Sam, Emerson and Henry.