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Vic Fazio Former United States Representative Dies at 79

Victor Fazio, a California Democratic congressman who served for 20 years and climbed to become a powerful party leader in the House, has passed away. He was 79 years old at the time.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed Fazio’s death on Wednesday, although her staff did not disclose any specifics. After a cancer fight, Fazio died surrounded by family, according to a representative for his office.

Fazio was a member of the House Appropriations and Armed Services committees from 1979 until 1999, representing the Sacramento region.

Fazio was born in Massachusetts and moved to California as a grad student at Sacramento State University before being elected to the House of Representatives. He was even a member of Sacramento County’s Planning Commission.

He was noted for his support of environmental initiatives and his ability to get government financing for projects in his district, such as the Vic Fazio Yolo Bypass Animal Area, a massive wetland and wildlife preserve located halfway between Davis and Sacramento. President Bill Clinton formally dedicated it in 1997.

Of course, Fazio received his fair share of flak and setbacks. In 1994, when Republicans took control of the House for the first time in 40 years, he was chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

He was elected chairman of the House Democratic caucus the following year and served for four years.

Fazio worked in a public relations business in Washington, D.C. after leaving Congress and eventually joined a legal firm, retiring in 2020.

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