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Updated: Va. officials react to death of former congressman Pickett

Anita Kumar

The tributes continue to pour in Thursday for former Virginia congressman Owen Pickett, 80, who died Wednesday.

"He set an excellent example as an elected official who consistently worked in a bipartisan way, both in the state legislature and in Congress, to do what was best for the Commonwealth and our nation," Sen. Mark Warner (D) said in a statement.

"Virginia has lost one of its most respected leaders,'' Sen. Jim Webb (D) said in a statement. "Owen Pickett tirelessly served Virginia and the nation right up to the end of his life."

Pickett (D), a lawyer, represented the 2nd Congressional District in Hampton Roads from 1987 to 2001. Before that, he served in the House of Delegates from 1972 to 1986.

In August, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) tapped Pickett and former Rep. Tom Davis (R) to lead a new statewide military commission.

"Even in his final months, knowing that his health was failing, Owen volunteered to once again serve the people of Virginia,'' McDonnell said in a statement. "I will miss Owen Pickett, we all will. He knew what he believed in and he was committed to his ideals."

We've heard from most of the Virginia congressional delegation, including Rep. Glenn Nye (D), who now serves in the same seat Pickett did. Nye said it was "sad day for our whole community" and called Pickett a "mentor, a role model and a friend."

Updated, 4:30 p.m. Rep. Frank Wolf, who served with Pickett his entire congressional career, will ask for a moment of silence on the House floor for his former colleague when the House returns from its recess.

"Owen Picket was a well respected member of Congress and served with distinction,'' Wolf said. "He always put country first and was a strong voice for the men and women of our armed forces."

By Anita Kumar  | October 28, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Glenn Nye, James Webb, Mark Warner, Robert F. McDonnell  
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