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Former state Sen. Frank Pecora of Penn Hills dies at 86

From TribLive.com

Former state Sen. Frank Pecora, who was both colorful and controversial while serving the residents of the east suburbs from the late ‘70s to the mid-’90s, has died.

Pecora, 86, died Monday at his home in Penn Hills, according to the Soxman Funeral Home. The cause of death was pneumonia and he had suffered a stroke in 2012, the funeral home said.

“Frank Pecora was my mentor and dear friend … like a second father to me,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, Pecora’s chief of staff for 15 years before being elected to Congress in 1994. “What he cared about most was the little guy. That was sort of his reputation in the state Senate. He … voted for working-class issues and working people. It wasn’t the rich and powerful that really excited him or what he was drawn to.”

At a time when the Democratic party held sway in the sometimes rough-and-tumble politics in the east suburbs, Pecora was the rare Republican elected to a seat in Harrisburg when he won the 44th District in 1978.

But the dapper, cigar-smoking Pecora was a moderate who got along with Republicans and Democrats in both Penn Hills and the state capitol.

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