Former Congressman Ed Pastor dies

Former Congressman Ed Pastor, Arizona’s first Latino U.S. Representative, has passed away.

According to a statement released by his daughter, and current Phoenix City Councilmember, Laura Pastor, the Congressman passed away November 27th due to a heart attack. He was 75.

“With heavy hearts, the Pastor family would like to inform the public that Congressman Ed Pastor passed away on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at the age of 75. He was the first Mexican-American from Arizona elected to Congress. Congressman Pastor will be remembered for his commitment to his family, a legacy of service to the community that he loved, the state of Arizona and the nation. The Congressman’s wife of 53 years, Verma, would like to thank the first responders from Phoenix Fire Station 9 and the doctors and nurses at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical center for the care they provided Ed in the final moments of his life. At this time, the Pastor family asks for privacy as they mourn the loss of their husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle and leader.”

Pastor served in the United States House of Representatives from 1991-2015, retiring after 23 years of service. Prior to his time in the House, he served three terms as a Maricopa County Supervisor. He earned a B.A. and law degree from Arizona State University, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college.

Pastor was known for helping secure federal funding for his constituents, which included funding for the Phoenix light rail, and was respected on both sides of the aisle.

“Today, Arizona mourns the loss of an Arizona trailblazer and true public servant, Congressman Ed Pastor,” said Governor Ducey. “My deepest sympathies go out to Congressman Pastor’s family and loved ones. In honor of his life of service, I’m ordering flags across the state be lowered to half-staff in recognition of the long-lasting impact he will leave on Arizona.”

“Arizona lost a good man and extremely effective leader, and if we’re willing, we can all learn from his style and character,” said Jose Esparza Jr., vice president of energy solutions at Southwest Gas. “Ed never forgot where he came from and took those Miami, AZ principles to Washington and made a career of doing what was right and working across the political aisle to improve the lives of all Arizonans.  Over his two decades in Congress, he worked tirelessly to bring back Federal resources to the state he loved.  While political bomb throwing has become all the rage, we should reflect on Ed’s political career and strive to be as good as he was.”

Other elected officials showed their support via social media:

“So sorry to learn of the passing of former Rep. Ed Pastor. I had the privilege of serving with Ed for more than a decade. There was no one more capable, hardworking and kind. Arizona is a far better place because of Ed Pastor,” Senator Jeff Flake tweeted.

“Ed Pastor’s life personified selfless public service and doing good for others. In Congress, he delivered big for Arizona in meaningful ways that improved people’s lives: he fought for light rail, Sky Harbor Airport, The Rio Salado, community colleges and ASU. In doing so, he treated everyone with dignity and civility and earned the respect of Republicans and Democrats alike. We should all learn from his life and legacy,” Congressman-elect Greg Stanton said in a statement.

Further information will be released about the celebration of Congressman Ed Pastor’s life at a later time.

Morgan Carr

Emily Richardson

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