The Latest: Sen. Portman commends Voinovich’s public service


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the death of former U.S. senator and Ohio Gov. George Voinovich (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says George Voinovich “exemplified everything good about public service.”

Portman was among Ohioans on Sunday remembering the former U.S. senator, governor and Cleveland mayor, who died peacefully overnight at his home in Cleveland.

After Voinovich decided not to run again, Portman successfully sought his vacant seat. He cited Voinovich’s accomplishments on behalf of the country, state and especially his hometown of Cleveland, which became “The Comeback City” under Voinovich’s watch.

Portman said, “It is not an exaggeration to say he personally saved the city from default and revived the spirit of Cleveland through sheer force of will, an unyielding work ethic and an infectious optimism.”

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10:30 a.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) is remembering fellow Republican George Voinovich as “a unifier who thought outside the box.”

Voinovich died early Sunday at his home in Cleveland. He was 79.

Kasich said the former Ohio governor, U.S. senator and Cleveland mayor “never gave up and worked hard for the ideas he believed in up until the very end of his life.”

He said Voinovich “was guided by two ideas: love God and love your neighbor,” and he used those principles to help Ohioans accomplish more by working together.

Former aide Curt Steiner said members of the Voinovich family were gathering at his home in Collinwood on Sunday. He described Voinovich as “the grand champ of Ohio politics,” because he served in so many positions over so many years.

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9:45 a.m.

Former U.S. senator and two-term Ohio Gov. George Voinovich has died at home in Cleveland. He was 79.

His wife, Janet, says Voinovich died peacefully in his sleep early Sunday. The Republican had delivered public remarks Friday at a 25th Slovenian Independence Day event at Cleveland City Hall. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention coming to Cleveland next month.

Voinovich preached frugality in his personal and public life and occasionally bucked the GOP establishment. He opposed the size of former President George W. Bush’s tax cuts and later questioned Bush’s war strategy in Iraq.

Voinovich spent 12 years in the Senate, leaving in 2011. He previously served two terms as Ohio’s governor and a decade as mayor of Cleveland, which he helped pull out of default.

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