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The people of Utah lost a notable public servant and influential balancing voice earlier this week with the passing of State Senator Ed Mayne. His death Sunday at the relatively young age of 62 following a bout with lung cancer leaves an enormous void on Capitol Hill.
Senator Mayne was a Democrat who represented West Valley City. He was also a union man, said to be the longest-serving state AFL-CIO president in the entire country.
No wonder he often locked horns with his legislative colleagues and other high-profile politicians in this reddest of the red states! Yet he had the remarkable capacity of doing it in a gentle, affable way. Everybody liked "Eddie," as most of his friends and political adversaries alike called him.
His kindly demeanor augmented by keen negotiating and political skills made him an extremely credible champion of the causes he espoused, especially those involving labor, minorities and the so-called "common people." His views often broadened the discussion and frequently put ideas on the table that needed to be heard and debated.
In KSL's view, all Utahns, regardless of political persuasion, benefitted from the balancing presence of Senator Mayne. As one who could passionately and powerfully disagree without being disagreeable, his voice will be sorely missed.