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Dave Cogdill, former Califronia GOP Senate leader dies at 66

California Medal of Merit awardee Cogdill, pictured with

California Medal of Merit awardee Cogdill, pictured with legislators including former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger behind him, was ousted as Senate leader in 2009 after cutting a budget deal. Photo Credit: AP / Rich Pedroncelli

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Former California state Sen. Dave Cogdill died Sunday morning after battling pancreatic cancer, according to a statement from his family. He was 66.

“My dad was my hero and I strive to be half as good a man, father, and servant as he was,” David Cogdill, Jr. said in the statement. “While we mourn our beloved father, a man of faith who epitomized integrity, we take some comfort in the knowing that he is finally free from pain and suffering.”

The elder Cogdill, a Modesto Republican, was elected to represent the 14th Senate district in 2006 and was the Senate Republican leader from 2008-2009.

In March 2009, he was ousted from his leadership role in the middle of the night after cutting a budget deal that included tax increases with former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democrats and former Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines.

Cogdill was awarded the Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation for his actions during the2009 budget fight. In 2010, the California National Guard gave him the California Medal of Merit, the second highest merit award, according to the statement.

Cogdill most recently served as the president and CEO of the California Building Industry Association, a job he took in October 2013. He was also the Stanislaus County Assessor from 2011 to 2013. He served three terms in the state Assembly, from 2000 to 2006.

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