Peter Corpstein, a former lawmaker who served in the Arizona Legislature for almost 20 years during the 1970s and 1980s, has died, his family announced Friday.
Corpstein died in Scottsdale on Nov. 28. He was 87.
A Paradise Valley Republican, he served in the House from 1973 to 1982 and in the Senate from 1983 to 1990. Subsequently, he served four years as Maricopa County Assessor.
After selling his family’s lumber business in the late 1960s, Corpstein became involved in political fundraising before Republican Party officials asked him to run for a seat in former Legislative District 24, the family said.
“He was a dedicated legislator and was well known for having a flawless voting record by not missing a final bill vote until his 15th year when the legislative session ran long and he refused to miss his son’s graduation from the University of Arizona,” the family said.
Corpstein’s daughter, Joanne MacDonnell, who spent time working as her father’s campaign manager in later years, said he was known as the “‘Senate pit bull’ because of his tenacious ways he dug into an issue.”
She said he was most proud of being the primary sponsor of bills aimed at protecting the environment, such as a bill to study and find ways to eliminate brown cloud pollution, a bill meant to restrict the disposal of used oils, and another banning controlled burning of forest and farm crops on pollution days. And his efforts paid off, she said, as he received the Air Conservationist of the Year award from the Arizona Wildlife Federation in 1987.
In addition to being an advocate for the environment, MacDonnell added that Corpstein was also in favor of bills that were “tough on crime,” and those that reduced taxes.