Former GOP House Member Dead

( – One of the key figures in the Republican Party has passed away at the age of 73.

Friends of Chris Cannon, a former GOP representative for Utah, confirmed his death with local news outlets. No cause of death was given.

Cannon, who served in Congress from 1997 to 2009, was most known for being one of the key leaders in the impeachment against former president Bill Clinton over his affair with a White House intern. He was also was the representation at that time of the more conservative wing of the GOP in the House, with the American Conservative Union scoring his voting record as 97 out of 100.

Born on October 20, 1950 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to a family with deep roots in American politics, Cannon graduated from Brigham Young University boasting several degrees. He then pursued a successful business career and also served as associate solicitor for the Interior Department before running for Congress. He punched in his ticket to the House when he managed to defeat then-incumbent Bill Orton, a Democrat, for Utah’s third congressional district.

His impeachment argument sent to the Senate in February 1999 called on legislators from both sides of the aisle “to set aside partisanship, politics, polls and personalities” and instead pursue the higher callings of working towards fulfilling the “procedure, policy and precedent” inherent in America’s laws and ethics.

“We, as Americans and legislators, have never supported a legal system,” Cannon wrote, “which has one set of laws for the ruler and another for the ruled.”

His entreaties apparently fell on deaf ears, after the Senate voted to acquit then-president Clinton.

Cannon left behind his wife, Claudia, as well as seven children. He originally had eight children, but lost his daughter Rachel at the tender age of 25 in 2005 after she lost a four-year battle with a rare form of cancer.

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