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Former Oregon Congressman Bob Smith dies at 89

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Smith, who represented Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District for more than a decade, died in Medford on Monday. He was 89.

Smith served as the U.S. representative for the district that encompasses eastern and central Oregon, as well as part of southern Oregon. He served for 12 years, from 1983 to 1995. After a brief retirement, he ran again in 1996 and served one more term after his successor, Wes Cooley, resigned after admitting to falsifying his military service record.

Smith’s cause of death was not immediately released, and family could not be immediately reached.

Rep. Greg Walden, a fellow Republican who succeeded Smith as the congressman for Oregon’s 2nd District, said he remembered meeting Smith for the first time when he was 13 and visiting the Capitol.

“Chairman Robert ‘Bob’ Freeman Smith was a one-of-a-kind rancher, legislator and advocate for the eastern Oregon way of life,” Walden said in a written statement.

Former Oregon Congressman Bob Smith during his 1996 press conference in Medford where he announced his candidacy for Congress in the Second District in place of Wes Cooley. (Photo by Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian)