State lawmakers say they're stunned by the death of Republican State Rep. Terry Blair of Montgomery County. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow has more on the man who spent more than 25 years in local and state government.
Before coming to the Statehouse in 2009, State Rep. Terry Blair spent two decades serving as a township trustee. This is one of the reasons he was appointed to chair the State and Local Government Committee.
House Speaker Bill Batchelder said he was shocked by Blair's passing. He added that during his many years at the Statehouse he's experienced the loss of sitting lawmakers, but it doesn't soften the blow.
"This is one that is really difficult for me because of the morals and the ethics and the real wonderful ability as the chairman that he had," Batchelder said, "and I know I'm going to miss him."
Blair's expansive impact on the General Assembly is evident by the outpouring of sympathy from both sides of the aisle. That includes Democratic State Rep. Ron Gerberry from Canfield, who worked alongside Blair on the committee.
"He was humble. He was fair," Gerberry said. "He was just one of the most genuine people that I've had the distinct honor of serving with."
Both Gerberry and Batchelder said Blair created a unique committee atmosphere that was open, fair, and respectful.
Blair died in a Dayton hospital. The cause of his death was not released. The 67-year-old is survived by his wife, four children and eight grandchildren.