Former Rep. Ed Pastor, the first Latino member of the House of Representatives to represent Arizona, has died at the age of 75.
Pastor, a Democrat, represented portions of Phoenix and Glendale from 1991 through 2015.
Family members told the Arizona Republic that Pastor suffered a heart attack Tuesday night.
Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, who now represents Pastor’s district, called him “a Latino trailblazer and a great Arizonan.”
“He dedicated his career to protecting the civil rights of every American and making the American Dream accessible to everyone, including the most vulnerable in our society. His legacy will live on in the legislation he authored, the working families he helped, and the generation he inspired,” Gallego said in a statement. Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, the first vice chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said in a statement that Pastor paved the way for future Hispanic lawmakers.
“Serving as a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, his contributions to the state of Arizona, to the Latino community, and to our nation will forever be appreciated,” Castro said.