LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Larry Hopkins, who served as a state lawmaker before representing central Kentucky in Congress for more than a decade, has died. He was 88.
Milward Funeral Home in Lexington confirmed the death, but did not release further information.
Hopkins was elected to Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District in 1978 and served until 1993. He was the Republican nominee for governor in 1991, but lost to Democrat Brereton Jones.
Hopkins cared deeply about Kentucky as he served at the state and federal level, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. As a former Marine, Hopkins used his expertise on the House Armed Services Committee to reform and modernize the military and before that worked as a state lawmaker to improve the lives of farmers, McConnell said.
“Larry had an independent voice, allowing him to overcome partisan rancor to make friends on both sides of the political aisle. He was a premier legislator in both Frankfort and Washington and will be missed by all of his former colleagues,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, who currently represents the 6th District, said in a statement that Hopkins was “a legend in Kentucky politics” who was a mentor and friend.
“Serving for over a decade in the seat I now hold, Larry rose to being the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. He was beloved by both sides of the aisle, and his humor was famous with constituents and colleagues,” Barr said.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.