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James M Jeffords
James Jeffords dies; ex-senator quit GOP, tipping control of chamber
James Jeffords dies; ex-senator quit GOP, tipping control of chamber

James Jeffords, a former U.S. senator from Vermont who tipped the balance of the Senate in 2001 after he left the Republican Party and became an independent, died Monday. He was 80. Diane Derby, Jeffords' former press secretary and a spokeswoman for his family, told the Los Angeles Times that he died at his residence in Washington. The cause of death was unclear but Derby said he had been in declining health. In a statement, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) called Jeffords "a Vermonter through and through, drawn to political life to make a difference for our state and nation." Jeffords announced in 2005 that he would not seek a fourth term, citing his and his wife's...

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