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Ex-Ohio Congressman Charlie Wilson, 70, dies

Updated April 15, 2013 at 1:11 PM

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio, April 14 (UPI) -- Former Ohio congressman Charlie Wilson died Sunday in Florida of complications from a stroke he suffered in February, his family said. He was 70.

Wilson, a Democrat, represented Ohio's 6th District for two terms, losing his bid for re-election in 2010 to Bill Johnson, a Republican, and failing to regain the seat in 2012.

"Throughout his extraordinary life, Congressman Wilson was motivated by a desire to serve his country and a passion for the causes most important to the constituents of southeast and east Ohio," his family said in a statement.

"Congressman Wilson served with honor, dignity and an unwavering sense of civic responsibility to the families of our region.

"Charlie will be remembered for his boundless energy, his honest approach, and his dedication to improving the lives of our future generations."

The Dillonvale native, who was a small business owner who served in the Ohio Legislature, first went to Congress by winning the 2006 election to fill the congressional seat vacated by Gov. Ted Strickland with a write-in campaign, the Portsmouth Daily Times said.

Johnson said he and his wife "were saddened to hear of Wilson's death," the newspaper said.

"Although Charlie and I were political opponents, we were never enemies," Johnson said. "He served with honor in the Ohio state Legislature and in Congress. May God's healing and grace be with Charlie Wilson's family in this time of sorrow."

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