WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Longtime Massachusetts lawmaker John Binienda (bih-NEN’-duh) has died after a battle with diabetes and kidney disease.

The death of the 28-year member of the state House of Representatives was announced Friday by Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr.

Binienda was 67.

The Worcester Democrat was a teacher before being elected to represent his home city in 1986. Known as a tireless worker who rarely missed a house vote, he was highly respected by his colleagues as chairman of the Committee on Rules.

Augustus said in a statement that Worcester “has lost one of its greatest champions.”

House Speaker Robert DeLeo said Binienda was “a trusted committee chairman and fierce advocate for his district,” as well as a mentor to new House members.

Memorial arrangements are pending.

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