Longtime Democratic adviser Gene Callahan dies

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Gene Callahan has died. He was a former newspaper reporter and longtime aide to top Democratic elected officials, including the late U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon.

His daughter, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, said in a Monday statement that he died overnight at his Springfield home. Further details on his death weren’t released. Callahan was 80.

He worked for a Springfield newspaper before serving as press secretary for several elected officials, including former U.S. Sen Paul Simon while he was lieutenant governor.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin called Callahan a “trusted friend” in a Monday statement. He says he never made an important decision in politics without calling Callahan.

Callahan also worked as a lobbyist for Major League Baseball.

Bustos says an event to celebrate Callahan’s life is planned in Springfield on Friday.