INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (AP/WISH) – Indiana state Rep. Earl Harris, who represented northwest Indiana for more than 30 years, has died at age 73.
Harris’ death was announced Monday by Speaker Brian Bosma’s office. A cause of death was not given.
In making the announcement, Bosma called Harris a gentleman and respected legislator who was well liked by his colleagues. The Republican legislator said the Democrat from East Chicago “will be sorely missed.”
Harris was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and was the ranking Democrat on the Interstate and International Cooperation Committee. He also served on the Rules and Legislative Procedures and the House Ethics committees.
Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City called Harris “one of the finest and most visionary lawmakers I ever knew.”
Harris, who attended Indiana and Purdue universities, retired as an administrator at the East Chicago School Corp.
Governor Mike Pence stated, “I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of State Representative Earl Harris, who served the people of northwest Indiana with great distinction for more than three decades. Earl spent his career bettering the lives of Hoosiers, and, today, Indiana lost a great leader. The First Lady and I extend our sincerest condolences to his beloved family and friends during this difficult time.”
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem Long said the following, “Earl Harris was a strong, thoughtful, and effective voice for Northwest Indiana for many years. At the same time, he was also a fierce advocate for his constituents. He leaves a distinguished legacy here at the Statehouse, and will be greatly missed.”