Former Ohio Congressman LaTourette Dies at 62; Supported Passenger Rail, Public Transportation

Former Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette died this pst week at age 62 of pancreatic cancer.

Mr. LaTourette was known for his support of passenger rail and investing in the nation’s infrastructure.

Steve LaTourette

Steve LaTourette

Representing the 19th District for 18 years, Mr. LaTourette stepped down in 2013, citing what he termed an increasingly corrosive atmosphere of partisanship in Washington.

“You get some who just take this attitude that, ‘If I don’t get 100 percent of what I want, I’m going to take my ball and go home,’” Mr. LaTourette told WKSU-FM in a recent interview. “And that’s not the way the country was set up. That isn’t the way life is.”

Mr. LaTourette, a Republican, represented Ohio’s 19th District in Congress for 18 years.

The American Public Transportation Association and the Association of American Railroads both hailed Mr. LaTourette for his work on public transit and freight rail.

“As a senior member of the Republican leadership and a strong believer in the Mass Transit Account, [Mr. LaTourette] successfully fought with APTA against the ill-conceived effort to eliminate dedicated federal transit funding in 2012,” said APTA Chair Valarie McCall and Acting President and Chief Executive Officer Richard White in a statement.

They described Mr. LaTourette as “a voice of reason and an exemplary example of what it means to be a selfless public servant.”

AAR President and CEO Edward Hamberger in a statement described Mr. LaTourette as a leader for many years on transportation, saying that the railroad industry is deeply saddened by his passing.

“The AAR had the honor of working with Rep. LaTourette during his time on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, including during his service as chairman of the panel’s Subcommittee on Railroads, and always found him to be fair: gathering facts from all sides and at the end of the day, exercising good judgment,” Hamberger said.

The National Association of Railroad Passengers described Mr. LaTourette as a leading Republican voice for bipartisan investment in infrastructure and passenger rail.

Mr. LaTourette is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and his six children: Sarah, Amy, Clare, Sam, Emerson and Henry.

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