Steve LaTourette

Former Rep. Steve LaTourette Dies of Cancer at 62
Ohio Congressman, a centrist, led anti-tea party offensive after retirement

Rep. Steve LaTourette predicted that the tea party and other groups refusing to compromise would destroy the Republican Party. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Steve LaTourette, a moderate Republican who surprised the GOP by retiring in 2012 in protest of what he termed the "dumbing down " of the party, died on Wednesday of pancreatic cancer, according to media reports. He was 62.  

LaTourette, an Ohio defense attorney with a professorial beard and an irreverent wit, came to Congress in 1994 amid a wave that gave the Republican Party control of the both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. After his departure, he led an offensive against the tea party and other conservative groups, predicting that their refusal to compromise would destroy the GOP .