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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Former Missouri Republican state Rep. Mike Lair has died.

An obituary written by his daughter, Jillian Harris, says the 71-year-old died Tuesday in his Jefferson City home. His son-in-law, James Harris, said he had heart issues.

Voters first elected him to the Missouri House in 2008. He represented an area of northern Missouri including Chillicothe, where he previously lived and taught high school history.

Lair was a leader in education policy during his time as a lawmaker. He moved to Jefferson City last year after leaving the Legislature in 2016.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard said Lair was known as a “compassionate and an all-around nice guy.” Former Republican Sen. David Pearce said Lair was honest and beloved by constituents.