Former U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad dies at 74

Former Minnesota State Senator and U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad has died at the age of 74.

His former chief of staff said he passed away Thursday.

Ramstad, a Republican, served Minnesota’s Third Congressional District for nine terms.

His personal battle with addiction turned him into a legislative champion for those in recovery.

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan issued separate statements on the passing of Ramstad.

“Jim Ramstad was a colleague, mentor, and friend,” said Walz. “It was a privilege to serve with him in Congress. Few members of Congress commanded the respect and admiration of their peers and constituents that Jim Ramstad did. Jim made the world a better place.”

“Congressman Jim Ramstad was a very good and decent man,” said Flanagan. “I’ll always appreciate the tireless work he did to champion mental health parity and support for people battling addiction. He was a true public servant. He will be missed.”