Former U.S. Sen. Warren Rudman, co-author of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction act and a key backer of fellow Granite Stater David Souter's being named to the U.S. Supreme Court, has died. He was 82 years old and died just before midnight at George Washington Hospital from complications from lymphoma.
He had been in declining health for some time.
Rudman's first campaign manager and friend, Manchester attorney Brad Cook, called Rudman "one of the great public servants in New Hampshire in the 20th Century." Cook said Rudman was another of the great legacies of former Gov. Walter Peterson, who died last year.
"Walter plucked a young attorney in Nashua to be legal counsel to the governor and then named him attorney general," Cook said. "There would be no Justice Souter without Warren Rudman, no Tom Rath with all the good he has done and his influence, and no Brad Cook. He got more out of people than they knew how to give."
Former Gov. John Sununu said this morning, "I am sorry to hear that Warren Rudman died last night. He was a very good friend and a great public servant. He was a great senator and as one of the authors of the Gramm-Rudman budget process helped bring control to America's finances in the 1980s. Nancy and I extend our condolences to the Rudman family."
Former New Hampshire Attorney General and Gov. Stephen Merrill said, "Sen. Rudman set the standard for the New Hampshire Attorney General's office. He instituted modern trial practices and modern hiring practices. He had a national reputation among his peers and is still spoken of today at AG meetings. He will be sorely missed."
Memorial Guest Book for Warren Rudman
Gov. John Lynch said Rudman was a man who worked across the aisle and was true to his principles.
"Warren Rudman work tirelessly to serve the people of New Hampshire and the nation. As a leader in the U.S. Senate, he was someone who stuck to his principles, yet was able to reach across the aisle to work toward a bipartisan resolution on the issues of the day," Gov. Lynch said. "His long public service and statesmanship are examples for us to follow and he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers and those of my wife, Susan, are with the Rudman family at this time."
Rudman won a spirited Republican primary in 1980 to face former Democratic U.S. Sen. John Durkin, who won one of the closest U.S. Senate races in history. Durkin died last month.
Rudman defeated Durkin and then ran for reelection in 1986 before deciding to retire after his second term in the U.S. Senate. Before he left office, Rudman was instrumental in the appointment by President George H.W. Bush of now-retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
Former U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg won the Senate seat in 1992 when Rudman retired. Tuesday morning he said Rudman was a huge player in the state's political life as well as in Washington, D.C.
"He brought a lot of respect to New Hampshire in the way he represented us," Gregg said. "He was a leader who did important things: whether on international policy where he was an expert or on domestic spending issues with Graham-Rudman, a major discipline on federal spending."
Gregg noted he and Rudman were good friends and their families grew up together in Nashua where Rudman's father owned a manufacturing plant across the street from his grandfather's.
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