Former Congressman Steve LaTourette dies of pancreatic cancer


Former Congress member Steve LaTourette, known for his moderate brand of Republican politics, died Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 62.

The Northeast Ohio district he had represented encompasses all of Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties and parts of Cuyahoga, Trumbull, Portage and Summit counties. He lived in Bainbridge Township, Ohio and McLean, Va. at the time of his death, reported.

He used his congressional committee seats to channel highway dollars to Northeast Ohio and protect the interests of credit unions. LaTourette also helped establish an arbitration process that saved hundreds of auto dealers who were scheduled to close after the federal government bailed out General Motors and Chrysler.

Although LaTourette voted for anti-gay-marriage legislation early in his congressional career, in 2015 he signed onto a legal brief that urged the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage.

LaTourette grew up in Cleveland Heights. His father, Eugene, was an accountant, and his mother, Patricia, worked for a life insurance company. He graduated from the University of Michigan before obtaining a law degree from Cleveland State University.

After law school, LaTourette worked as a public defender. He was elected to serve as Lake County prosecutor in 1988, after losing an initial bid for the job.

His successful prosecution of cult killer Jeffrey Lundgren, who murdered followers who disagreed with his religious teachings, gave LaTourette sufficient name recognition to win a House of Representatives seat in the 1994 sweep that put Republicans in charge of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

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