George Nethercutt Dies At 79

(LUKE FRAZZA/AFP via Getty Images)

Micah Allen Contributor
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Former Republican Washington Rep. George Nethercutt passed away Friday at age 79, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Nethercutt’s death was a result of “progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare, neurodegenerative brain disease,” his son told The AP.

The former representative’s first election to the House came in the midterms of 1994 during the conservative revolt led by Newt Gingrich. Republicans gained control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in forty years, the outlet reported. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Inside Trump’s Meeting With House Republicans)

He defeated Speaker of the House Tom Foley to earn his seat, marking the first time that an incumbent Speaker had been defeated in over 130 years. Foley had represented the district for three decades.

Nethercutt also signed Gingrich’s “Contract With America” and retained a high level of respect within Washington, according to The AP. Republican Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who holds Nethercutt’s former seat, told The AP, “George Nethercutt was a giant amongst men who served the people of Eastern Washington with honor and patriotism for a decade.”

Nethercutt served five terms in the House before unsuccessfully attempting to unseat Democratic Washington Sen. Patty Murray in 2004.

He became a lobbyist after leaving Congress, working with his foundation that sought to advance “civics education through scholarships, competitions and educational trips to Washington,” The AP reported.

He is survived by his wife Mary (to whom he was married for 47 years), two children (Meredith and Elliott), his brother (John), sister (Nancy Gustafson) and granddaughter (Holly Krisher), according to The AP.