Former Ohio congressman dies after stroke - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Former Ohio congressman dies after stroke

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ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio - Former Ohio Congressman Charlie Wilson died Sunday afternoon due to complications following a stroke he suffered in February.

Wilson, 70, suffered a brain aneurysm while vacationing in the Orlando area and was then hospitalized in Florida.

In a statement Released by Wilson's family Sunday: "Charlie will be remembered for his boundless energy, his honest approach, and his dedication to improving the lives of our future generations."

After serving in the Ohio House and Senate, Wilson made his first run for Congress in 2006. He failed to gather enough signatures on petitions to quality for the state primary and launched a write-in campaign for Ohio's 6th Congressional district.

It was an uphill battle, but he won.

State Representative Ron Gerberry recalls that victory.

"To witness that was incredible and i can recall being up at the Mahoning County Board of Elections that night, and calling Charlie on the phone and reporting back to him on what was happening in this county. And he was telling me the same thing was happening in this county and this county."

Before entering public service, Wilson was the owner of a number of small businesses. While in office he helped secure funding for small business incubators, and served on the House Committee on Science and Technology.

Wilson then went on to serve in Ohio's Senate.

"Charlie was a good, compassionate, hard working, caring person who had the ability to work across the aisle," Gerberry said. "He cared about people and the job that he did for people."

Congressman Tim Ryan said in a statement: "Congressman Wilson was a respected leader in Washington, and in Ohio's 6th District. He never stopped fighting for his constituents. Ohio has lost a true public servant."

Wilson sat next to Bob Hagan in Ohio's Senate. Hagan, who is now a state representative, wrote on his facebook page that Charlie was a "serious legislator with an incredible sense of humor."

His colleagues say it was a tough decision that may have cost Wilson, who served two terms as a Democratic congressman, his seat in 2010 to Republican Bill Johnson.

Wilson lost again to Johnson in 2012 in a bid to reclaim his congressional seat.

However, Johnson spoke fondly of his former opponent in a statement, saying, "although Charlie and I were political opponents, we were never enemies."

Mahoning County Democratic Chair Dave Betras says, "He was a fearless advocate for the common working man for the middle class... he literally sacrificed his house seat to vote for the affordable care act."

Charlie Wilson was the father of four sons and the grandfather of nine.

Funeral details are not yet available.

His family asks that contributions be made to the Congressman Charlie Wilson Leadership Program at Ohio University Eastern.

Contributions can be sent to: 

Congressman Charlie Wilson Leadership Program

c/o Ohio University Eastern

Dean's Office

45425 National Road W.

St. Clairsville, OH 43950




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