US Rep. Louise Slaughter was pioneer in Congress

Slaughter served in the state Assembly from 1982 to 1986 and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1986, defeating Republican incumbent Fred Eckert in a close race and becoming the first woman to represent Western New York in Congress. She was the oldest member of the current Congress and one of the most senior women in the House.

Slaughter died at George Washington University Hospital after an injury sustained in her home last week, Liam Fitzsimmons said in a statement.

According to her office, "in 2009, she secured the recall and replacement of 16,000 pieces of unsafe body armor from the front lines". Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will set the date for the special election in the 25th Congressional District, which includes the city of Rochester.

Slaughter was recognized as a fierce legislator who blazed trails for other women to enter politics. For more than 30 years, she served in the U.S. House of Representatives with unmatched charm, sharp wit and an insatiable passion to improve the lives of everyone in her community.

Slaughter had a degree in microbiology and was originally from Harlan County, Kentucky, and her soft, twangy accent always seemed out of place for someone representing a district around Rochester, New York.

"It was a female uprising", she said in 2014. They had three daughters, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Slaughter described herself as the only microbiologist on Capitol Hill, and in recent years fought to establish stringent restrictions on the use of antibiotics in healthy cattle - a leading factor, she argued, in the rise of drug-resistant bacteria.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Slaughter a "champion for NY who had a larger than life presence in Rochester area politics".

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Slaughter is survived by her three children.

Her role as Rules chair and since the Republicans regained control of the House in 2010, as the committee's senior Democrat gave her huge power over the terms of debate on the House floor.

Slaughter, who was serving in her 16th term in Congress, "was the dean of the NY congressional delegation", her office said in a news release posted on Slaughter's website. "I offer my honest condolences to her family and friends during this hard time". She received the RIT Presidential Medallion in 2010 in honor of her support for NTID and for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

Pelosi wrote that Slaughter "used her leadership position to fight for women and working families".

At the end of February, Slaughter launched her reelection campaign for a 17th term in office.

Say and Anderson were both from the Rochester, New York, area. "Our deepest condolences to family, friends and staff of Louise Slaughter; she will be missed".

"She fought tirelessly for numerous same principles that the New York State Assembly Majority holds near and dear to our hearts, including women's reproductive rights, access to health care, higher education, and a fair minimum wage - just to name a few". "The nation has lost a fervent defender of righteous policies and Western New York has lost a champion".


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