Former Rep. Charlie Wilson of Ohio dies at 70 after suffering stroke

Former Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio) died Sunday at a Florida hospital at the age of 70.

Wilson suffered a stroke earlier in the year and had been recovering.

“Congressman Wilson served with dignity and dedication, with commitment and conviction, with an unyielding faith in the future of our country,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement. 

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“It was an honor to serve with him as a colleague; it was a privilege to call him a friend. I hope it is a comfort to his four sons, his nine grandchildren, and the entire Wilson family that so many share in their grief at this sad time."

Wilson served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1997-2005, when he launched a successful write-in campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. Wilson served two terms, but lost elections to Rep. Bill Johnson (D-Ohio) in 2010 and 2012.

“LeeAnn and I were saddened to hear of the passing of former Congressman Charlie Wilson,” Johnson said in a statement. “Although Charlie and I were political opponents, we were never enemies. He served with honor in the Ohio state legislature and in Congress.”

Wilson, who hailed from a coal-rich district in Ohio, was a small-business owner before he embarked on a career in politics. He served on the Committee on Science and Technology, as well as the Committee on Financial Services.

"Charlie never hesitated to do what was right for his district or our country,” Pelosi continued. “He stood firm for the economic security of retired auto workers when a faltering auto industry threatened to leave them without the pensions they had earned through a lifetime of work. He had the courage to take tough votes even when that courage came at a great political cost – whether voting to stem a recession with the Recovery Act or to provide quality health insurance to all with the Affordable Care Act.”