Jim Kolbe Obituary, Death – The death of Republican congressman Jim Kolbe, who supported gay rights and represented a heavily Democratic region of Arizona for more than two decades, has occurred. Kolbe was a member of the House of Representatives. He was 80. The news of Kolbe’s passing was announced in a statement by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Ducey issued an order that flags be lowered until Sunday evening at sunset.

Before being elected to Congress in 1984, Kolbe served in the Arizona Legislature. During his time in Congress, he frequently found himself at odds with other Republicans due to his support of free trade and an immigrant guest worker program. After learning that a national publication intended to expose him as gay in 1996 for his vote against the federal recognition of same-sex marriage, he reluctantly came out with his sexual orientation at the time.

In addition to this, he stated that he had no desire to become a symbol of the gay rights movement. When Kolbe gave his first speech to a national gathering of gay and lesbian Republicans in 1997, he stated that “being gay was not — and is not today — my defining persona.” This statement was made in 1997. When his 11th term in Congress came to an end in 2006, Kolbe announced his retirement from the body. Later on, he tied the knot with his partner, Hector Alfonso.

The statement “He belongs to so many people” was reportedly made by Alfonso on Saturday, as reported by the Arizona Daily Star. “He laid down his life for the sake of this city. He was very fond of Tucson and the entire state of Arizona. Alfonso was quoted in the paper as saying that “no one could question his integrity and his love for Arizona,” despite the fact that some people may have occasionally questioned Kolbe on the political decisions he made.

The life that Kolbe led and the work that he did for the state were both remarkable, according to Ducey. “He once said that he was ‘born for the job,'” said Ducey in a statement about the former employee. “He most certainly was, and as a result, Arizona is in a better place.” Others lauded Kolbe for his role as a mentor to those who aspire to hold political office and those who advocate for the environment.

Sharon Bronson, chair of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, was quoted in a statement as saying that “Pima County and southern Arizona could always count on Jim Kolbe.” Kolbe was referred to as a political pioneer by Matt Gress, who was just recently elected to the Arizona Legislative Assembly.

In a statement, he said, “Today, being a member of the LGBT community and serving in elected office has become irrelevant.” This was in reference to Jim Kolbe’s decision. At the age of 15, Kolbe began his career in politics working as a page in Washington, D.C., for the late United States Senator Barry Goldwater. He went on to serve on the board that manages the page program. He received his master’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and then continued his education at Stanford University.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1965 and remained there until 1969. He was sent to Vietnam, where he was honored with a congressional medal for his bravery during his service there.

After working in the office of the governor of Illinois and in the real estate industry, he entered the political arena in Arizona. Kolbe was first elected to the state Senate in 1976 and remained there until his term ended in 1982. In 1985, he was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives, making him the first Republican since Arizona became a state to represent a district in the southern part of the state that had a Democratic majority.

Within the United States Congress, Kolbe was well-known for his support of free trade, international development, immigration reform, and Social Security reform. Additionally, he attempted to lead a campaign to do away with the penny on the grounds that it was too expensive to produce.

He was a consistent supporter of legislation to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that the military maintains regarding homosexuality. He was a member of the Log Cabin Republicans (a political organization that advocates for the LGBT community) national advisory board.

According to the Daily Star, Kolbe defected from the Republican Party in 2018 and joined the ranks of the independents as a result of then-President Donald Trump. When asked why he did so, Kolbe was quoted as saying, “I haven’t left my party. I was abandoned by the party.”

According to the publication, he later penned a guest column in which he described himself as a conservative and stated that he would vote for his former colleague Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.