Jim Kolbe, a former Tucson congressman, dies at the age of 80

Jim Kolbe, a Republican congressman who spent more than 20 years serving a district in Arizona with a significant Democratic population and advocated for LGBT rights, has passed away. He was 80.

Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona revealed Kolbe’s passing on Saturday in a statement. Ducey instructed people to take down their flags until Sunday evening.

Before being chosen to serve in Congress in 1984, Kolbe was a member of the Arizona legislature. He frequently disagreed with other Republicans in Congress due to his advocacy for free trade and an immigrant guest worker programme.

Jim Kolbe,


He unwillingly came out as gay in 1996 after knowing that he was likely to be outed since he had voted against federal recognition of same-sex marriage. In addition, he declared that he didn’t want to represent the gay rights cause.

In his first speech to a national gathering of gay and lesbian Republicans in 1997, Kolbe said, “Being homosexual didn’t define me then, and it doesn’t define me now.”

Kolbe resigned from Congress in 2006 after serving his 11th term. Hector Alfonso, his business partner, and he later got married. Alfonso reportedly said on Saturday, “He belongs to so many people,” according to the Arizona Daily Star. He lost his life defending this city. He cherished Tucson and Arizona.

According to the newspaper, Alfonso claimed that while some individuals may have questioned Kolbe’s political choices, “no one could challenge his honesty or his love for Arizona.”

Kolbe’s life and contributions to the state, according to Ducey, were crucial. Ducey claimed in a statement that “he previously declared he was ‘born for the role’.” “Yes, he was, and it made Arizona better.”

Kolbe received acclaim from others for assisting those looking to run for public office and those concerned with the environment. Sharon Bronson, the head of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, stated that Jim Kolbe could always be relied upon by Pima County and southern Arizona.

Jim Kolbe,

Kolbe, according to Matt Gress, a recent member of the Arizona legislature, was a political pioneer.

He claimed in a statement that “Jim Kolbe has rendered membership in the LGBT community and campaigning for office irrelevant.”

When Kolbe was 15 years old, he began his career in politics by working as a page in Washington for the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater. Later, he was a member of the team that managed the page programme. He attended Stanford University and Northwestern University for his master’s degrees in economics.


He served in the Navy between 1965 and 1969. He was dispatched to Vietnam, where he earned a congressional medal for valour.

Before entering politics in Arizona, he worked in the Illinois governor’s office and in real estate. In 1976, Kolbe was appointed to serve in the state Senate, where he remained until 1982. In 1985, he was sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives. Since Arizona became a state, he was the first Republican to represent a district in the south of the state that was predominately Democratic.

Kolbe was well-known in Congress for advocating for Social Security reform, immigration reform, free trade, and global development. Jim Kolbe, an eighty-year-old congressman who served Southern Arizona for 22 years, passed away on Saturday, December 3, from a stroke. also attempted to get rid of the penny, but was unsuccessful because it was too expensive to produce.

He repeatedly supported legislation to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy on homosexuality. He was on the national advisory council for the Log Cabin Republicans. These individuals make up this group.

According to The Daily Star, Kolbe went independent in 2018 and quit the Republican Party as a result of then-President Donald Trump. I haven’t abandoned my party, he declared. I was by myself.

The newspaper claims that he afterwards penned a guest essay in which he described himself as a conservative who would support Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

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