How Pa. politicians responded to the death of U.S. Rep. John Lewis

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, was the youngest and last surviving member of the Big Six civil rights activists who led the fight to end legalized segregation and overturn Jim Crow laws. He was arrested dozens of times and also beaten as a Freedom Rider. Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Civil Rights icon and longtime Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who advocated for change through nonviolence, died late Friday night at the age of 80.

The Atlanta Democrat was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in late December. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed his death, saying the country had lost “one of the greatest heroes of American history.” Lewis was often referred to as the conscience of Congress.

The Troy, Ala. native is best known nationally for the beating he endured at the hands of police in 1965 while leading hundreds in the Bloody Sunday march across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Images of the violence – and his beating, in particular – are often credited with spurring passage of the Voting Rights Act that same year.

Lewis was the youngest and last surviving member of the Big Six civil rights activists who led the fight to end legalized segregation and overturn Jim Crow laws. He was arrested dozens of times and also beaten as a Freedom Rider. He spoke at the March on Washington in 1963, sharing a stage with Martin Luther King Jr.

Here’s a look at how Pennsylvania’s elected officials responded to the news:

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa:

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.:

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1st District:

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-2nd District:

U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-3rd District:

U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-4th District:

U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-5th District:

 

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-6th District:

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8th District:

U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser, R-9th District:

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District:

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-11th District:

U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-12th District:

U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-13th District:

U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-14th District:

U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-15th District:

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16th District:

U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-17th District:

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-18th District:

 

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke:

State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Philadelphia:

State Sen. Art Haywood, D-Philadelphia:

State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Philadelphia:

State Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia:

Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia:

 

Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny:

Jill Nolin, a reporter for the Georgia Recorder, a sibling site of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, contributed to this story. 

John L. Micek
A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press