Her office confirms the death of Rep. Louise Slaughter at age 88

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In an interview last month, Slaughter said she didn't run against opponents, but rather ran on her record.

Rep. Louise Slaughter, a Democrat who represented the Rochester area in Congress since 1987, died Friday morning in a Washington, D.C. hospital. One Washington politico referred to her as "a Southern belle with a cigar in her mouth", according to a 1992 Democrat and Chronicle story.

One of the most prominent food safety advocates in Congress is dead at age 88.

She served in the New York State Assembly from 1982 to 1986 and the Monroe County Legislature between 1976 and 1979.

She narrowly won re-election in 2014, by 871 votes, in a race against Republican Mark Assini, the supervisor of the town of Gates, in the suburbs of Rochester.

"For more than 30 years, she served in the U.S. House of Representatives with unmatched charm, sharp wit and an insatiable passion to improve the lives of everyone in her community ..."

She served as the chairwoman from 2007 to 2011. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will set the date for the special election in the 25th Congressional District, which includes the city of Rochester. The 88-year-old had been the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee. The committee was formally constituted in 1789.

"I am deeply saddened that my dear friend and colleague Louise Slaughter has passed away", said Democratic Sen.

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Slaughter was a co-author of the Violence Against Women Act, the landmark 1994 legislation that was the first comprehensive law to address sexual assault and domestic violence against women.

Congresswoman Slaughter also worked behind the scenes to help Rochester secure several federal Manufacturing USA projects, including one in photonics and one in sustainable manufacturing. The congresswoman proposed the bill in 1995 but was only enacted in 2008 thanks to her persistence. "With her passing, the Congressional community has lost a beloved leader and a cherished friend", Pelosi, D-California, said in a statement. "Her strong example inspired countless young women to know their power, and seek their rightful place at the head of the decision-making table".

Republican Congressman and House speaker Paul Ryan described the news of Slaughter's death as "jarring".

Slaughter was a trailblazing, ceiling-breaking politician.

The law helped expose questionable trades made by Rep. Tom Price, President Donald Trump's first Health and Human Services Secretary.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who is in line to succeed Slaughter on the Rules Committee, said that "as the daughter of a blacksmith in Kentucky, Louise never forgot where she came from, serving as a powerful voice for working families". "She brought the grace and grit of her Southern background to her leadership in the Congress, building bridges and breaking down barriers all with her attractive accent". "I had very high regard for Governor Cuomo, and therefore I loved Louise even before I met her".

"She didn't flaunt it, but she used her education credentials and her degree in microbiology to to affect public policy", Pelosi said.

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