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Longtime Pendleton legislator dies at 86

FILE - Bob Jenson

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Bob Jenson, who served nearly two decades in the Oregon House of Representatives, has died at 86.

First elected in 1996, the Pendleton legislator served so long his colleagues dubbed him the dean of the House. He was the most senior member of the House at the time of his 2015 retirement.

His death Saturday ended an on-and-off battle with cancer that lasted five years.

Jenson was elected once as a Democrat, once as an independent and eight times as a Republican.

Jenson's wife, Evelyn, tells the East Oregonian newspaper her husband was more fiscally conservative than Democrats and socially liberal than Republicans, and got a kick out of being "a caucus of one."

Gov. Kate Brown said Jenson was a dedicated public servant, beloved by many in Oregon, and will be missed.

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