US Pete Domenici, former New Mexico GOP senator, dead at 85

19:38  13 september  2017
19:38  13 september  2017 Source:   FOX News

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Pietro Vichi " Pete " Domenici (born May 7, 1932) is an American Republican politician, who served six terms as a United States Senator from New Mexico , from 1973 to 2009, the longest tenure in the state's history.

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Pete Domenici, who became a power broker in the Senate for his work on the federal budget and energy policy, has died.© AP2010 Pete Domenici, who became a power broker in the Senate for his work on the federal budget and energy policy, has died.

Pete Domenici, the longest-serving senator from New Mexico, died on Wednesday, Fox News confirmed. He was 85 years old.

The former longtime Republican senator recently underwent abdominal surgery and was placed in intensive care after a recovery setback, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

“He is out of pain and we all feel good about that,” the Domenici family told the newspaper. “We are grateful for all of the people who helped here at the hospital and elsewhere.”

Domenici was former chairman of the budget committee and served six terms as senator from 1973 to 2009. He declined to seek a seventh term in 2008 after revealing he had been diagnosed with an incurable brain disorder.

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Here's a talker: Former senator Pete Domenici acknowledged he fathered a son outside of his marriage mroe than 30 years ago — with the daughter of another senator , Paul Laxalt. Domenici , a New Mexico Republican who was once the top budget expert in Congress

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The Albuquerque-born son of Italian immigrants carried a consistent message of fiscal restraint from his first term in 1972 until leaving office in early 2009.

He even refused once to buckle to President Reagan, who wanted him to delay the budget process.

In a 1996 interview, Domenici said: "I am not just a Republican senator, it is not a Republican role...The facts are, when I got elected, I got elected by a lot of Democrats.”

Former President George H.W. Bush had also considered him for vice president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his condolences on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

"The Senate is saddened today w the news of the passing of our friend Senator Pete Domenici. We offer our deepest condolences to his family," McConnell tweeted.

Fox News' Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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