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Former Rep. Ratchford of Connecticut Dies

Former Rep. William Ratchford (D-Conn.) died Sunday of complications from Parkinson’s disease, according to news reports. He was 76.

The three-term Congressman is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara, and their three sons. The Danbury, Conn., native died in Virginia, where he had lived for many years since his time in the House, the Associated Press reported.
Ratchford was first elected to the House in 1978, and he lost his seat in the 1984 GOP landslide. President Bill Clinton appointed him as assistant administrator of the General Services Administration in 1993, a position he held until 2001.

He worked as a Washington lobbyist until three years ago, when complications from Parkinson’s disease forced him to step down, the Hartford Courant reported. He also taught at Georgetown University.

Ratchford served in the Connecticut General Assembly for 12 years, four of them as Speaker of the House, prior to coming to Capitol Hill. He joined the state Legislature in 1962.