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Jay Rhodes, former Arizona congressman, dies at 67

Former U.S. Rep. Jay Rhodes, who held the same seat in Arizona’s First Congressional District that his father did before him, died in a Washington, D.C., hospital Thursday from complications following an automobile accident last year. He was 67.

Rhodes’ death was first reported by The East Valley Tribune in Mesa.

Tom Rhodes said his brother had been treated for three fractured vertebrae suffered in an October car crash.

“He was doing OK until about 10 days ago, when he took a turn for the worse,” Tom Rhodes told The Arizona Republic.

Jay Rhodes’ wife found him unconscious in their Washington apartment, and he was rushed by ambulance to the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Tom Rhodes said.

“Little by little, his organs shut down,” he said. “He died very peacefully.”

Born in Mesa, Jay Rhodes was a Republican who served in the U.S. House from 1987 to 1993. He was the son of the late Arizona congressman John Rhodes, who held the same First District seat from 1953 to 1983.

Jay Rhodes, whose formal name was John Jacob Rhodes III, succeeded John McCain to the House seat in January 1987 after McCain was elected to the Senate.

He was defeated by Democrat Sam Coppersmith in his 1992 re-election bid.

The graduate of Yale and the University of Arizona law school worked as a government relations attorney in Washington after being unseated.

Rhodes is survived by his wife, Jane; four sons; two brothers; a sister; and his mother.

Private services will be held in Washington.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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