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Former Congressman Jim Kolbe has died

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Former Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe sits for a photo in the living room of his house in Tucson, Ariz., in January 2007, shortly after retiring from Congress. (AP Photo/John Miller) Former U.S.

Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona — the first openly-LGBTQ veteran and the second openly-gay Republican elected to Congress — died today (Saturday, Dec.

3) following a stroke, according to the Associated Press. Kolbe, who was first elected to Congress in 1984 and retired in 2006 at the end of his 11th term, was  80 years old.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags flown at half staff until sunset Sunday in honor of Kolbe. U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline of Rhode Island, chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, released a statement today, saying, “As an out gay man in Congress in the late 1990s and 2000s, Jim Kolbe affirmed to the American people, and gay men across the country, that there was a place for them in the halls of Congress,.

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