Democratic U.S. congressman Hastings of Florida dies

FILE PHOTO: Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) attends a House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 17, 2019. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Democratic U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings has died at the age of 84, his office said on Tuesday, further narrowing the party’s majority in the lower chamber of Congress.

Hastings, a former judge and civil rights activist, has served 15 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in a Florida district that now includes parts of Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and the area around Lake Okeechobee, his website said.

He most recently won his seat with 78.7% of the vote.

In January 2019, Hastings said he was diagnosed and receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer.

His death leaves a sixth vacancy in the House of Representatives, which Democrats would now control with 218 seats, against Republicans’ 211, according to a tally by the House press office.

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