I was deeply saddened by the news that my good friend and former colleague Charlie Wilson recently passed away. While so many of us will miss him, I am glad for the time I spent with him in both the Ohio legislature and U.S. Congress. I grew to admire Charlie as a tireless advocate for Ohio's 6th District and a dedicated public servant who cared deeply for his constituents.
Charlie's love for Eastern Ohio - where he was born and raised and where he worked - shone through in his efforts to improve the lives of its citizens. He made considerable progress in improving the region's infrastructure, protecting its seniors, promoting its energy sector, and looking out for its veterans. I was also proud to work with him on legislation that would expand access to services and benefits for veterans living in Appalachia.
Charlie wasn't afraid to take tough votes when he knew he was doing the right thing. He faced a lot of pressure before and after voting for the health law, but cast a vote that he believed was the right thing for his constituents. The citizens of Ohio's 6th District now have greater access to health care insurance and can no longer be discriminated against for having pre-existing conditions. Because of this, Charlie never had any regrets about his decision.
His example carried through to his children, for whom he was an excellent father. During this trying time for his sons and grandchildren, my wife Connie and I offer our thoughts, prayers, and appreciation for the man we knew and cared about.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio