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Virginia lawmaker Stanford Parris dies at 80

WASHINGTON - Stanford Parris, 80, who served six terms in the House of Representative as a Republican from Northern Virginia's Eighth District, died Saturday of heart disease at his home in Mathews County, Va.

Parris, who was a lawyer and car dealer before entering politics, was first elected in 1972, then returned to Congress from 1981 to 1991. A onetime Air Force fighter pilot, he survived several hard-fought campaigns and was among the first Republicans to gain a foothold in modern-day Virginia politics.

During his first term in Congress, he won the gratitude of football fans by introducing a bill prohibiting the National Football League from having television blackouts of sold-out games. He also helped transfer control of Dulles and National airports from the Federal Aviation Administration to a regional airport authority.

Parris lost the Republican nomination for governor in 1985 and 1989 and failed in a bid for the Virginia state senate in 1995. He lost his congressional seat to Democrat James Moran in 1990.

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