WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Paul Gillmor from Ohio was found dead in his apartment today, a Republican leadership aide said.
The aide said the body of the 68-year-old Republican was found by staff members who went to the apartment after Gillmor failed to show up for work. There was no immediate word on the cause of his death. Gillmor’s office did not respond to a reporter’s call.
Gillmor was in Norwalk at Berry’s Restaurant Thursday. Norwalk businessman Tom Olak, of Milan, met with Gillmor and said the representative didn’t seem right, Olak’s wife, Kathy said today.
“Tom walked him out to his car and the congressman said ‘I just don’t feel good,’” Kathy Olak said. “They walked out to the car and Tom shook his hand ... he was probably the last person in Huron County to shake his hand. He just was really sick. He didn’t show up to his office today and one of his aides found him.”
Gillmor had an appointment scheduled Thursday at the Reflector offices but did not show up.
Gillmor, who represented Ohio’s 5th District in the Bowling Green area of the state, was first elected to Congress in 1988.
The aide spoke on condition of anonymity pending an official announcement.
Gillmor, who served as a judge advocate in the Air Force after graduating law school, won a seat in the Ohio state senate in 1966, and served there for 22 years, rising to the senate presidency. After an unsuccessful run for governor in 1986, Gillmor was elected to the U.S. House in 1988 after eking out a 27-vote victory in the primary.
As a House member, he was a little-known but solid Republican vote, and a reliable conservative on social issues.
He led legislative efforts in such areas as cleanups of commercially contaminated sites known as brownfields and enacting financial service reforms. He was also a strong advocate of a constitutional amendment to ban unfunded mandates on the states.
He is survived by his wife and five children.