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Brain Cancer Claims Former Congressman

Former Rep. Mike Synar, an Oklahoma maverick who took on the powerful tobacco and gun lobbies while representing a conservative district for 16 years, died Tuesday of brain cancer. He was 45.

Synar died at his Washington home six months after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and more than a year after his surprising Democratic primary runoff loss to a political unknown.

“Mike Synar was a brave and unflinching public servant who in tough political times remained true to his principles,” President Clinton said.