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Former Rep. Shamansky Dies

Former Ohio Rep. Robert Norton Shamansky died at his home in Bexley, Ohio, last week. He was 84.

Shamansky, a Democrat, was elected to represent a historically Republican district in the state capital of Columbus in 1981. He served one term before losing his re-election bid to the state’s current governor, John Kasich, in 1983. Shamansky also was unsuccessful in seeking House seats in 1966 and 2006.

Despite running in the reliably Republican 12th district, the Columbus Dispatch said Shamansky waged a “spirited campaign” in which he spent $1.5 million of his own money in 2006. He was 79 at the time and told the paper: “If the worst thing they can say about me is that I’m old, then I’m happy to say that I’m the same age as Pope Benedict, who just started a new job.”

A lifelong Ohioan, Shamansky was born in Columbus and graduated from Ohio State University in 1947. Before embarking on a career as an attorney — he graduated from Harvard Law School in 1950 — Shamansky spent two years as a special agent for the U.S. Counter Intelligence Corps of the Army. He also had a successful career as a real estate developer.

A funeral is set for Wednesday at the Epstein Memorial Chapel in Columbus. Kasich ordered flags on state-owned property be flown at half-staff that day.

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