August 9th 2016

Former Rep. Steve LaTourette, who served nine terms representing Ohio in Congress before retiring out of frustration with partisan gridlock, died Aug. 3 of pancreatic cancer. He was 62.

A moderate Republican known for seeking bipartisan compromise to promote the public good, he was first elected to Congress in 1994. He worked hard to advance the maritime industry and in particular the U.S.-flag fleet.

From 1995 to 2013, LaTourette represented northeast Ohio’s 19th Congressional District and then the 14th Congressional District.

A member of the House Appropriations Committee, he was a supporter of infrastructure spending and public rail passenger service in an era in which similar programs were not generally popular with Republican members of Congress.

When he announced in 2012 that he would not seek re-election, he told reporters it was because he had had enough of partisan politics.

“It’s been my experience that compromise, cooperation, getting something done, is not rewarded,” LaTourette said at the time.

“During his nine terms in the U.S. House, Steve LaTourette put service and progress above partisan politics,” said Ed Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department.

“I will forever remember the committee and House floor battles led by Rep. LaTourette in defense of transportation workers’ jobs and rights. Whether the debate involved investing in our transportation system, demanding fair trade policy, or stopping legislation aimed at weakening worker protections or bargaining rights in our laws, Rep. LaTourette repeatedly stood on the side of working people. On a personal level, Steve was a good friend whose good humor and sharp wit made the difficult grind of Washington, D.C., a bit easier to endure.”

“During a time of fierce partisanship and gridlock in Washington, Rep. LaTourette will always reflect the best that public service has to offer: setting ideology aside to find solutions to the problems faced by all Americans. Today, more than ever, we need more of the people we elect to embrace the legacy of Steve LaTourette.”