YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WOIO) - A powerful Youngstown Democrat who began his decades-long political career organizing for candidate John F. Kennedy in 1960 has died. Former state senator and state party chairman Harry Meshel was 93.
Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper says Meshel died Monday after a long illness.
A graduate of Youngstown College and Columbia University who had served in World War II, Meshel ran unsuccessfully for local office before first landing a seat in the Ohio Senate in 1970.
He served in the chamber for 22 years, working his way through the leadership ranks to serve as Senate minority leader and president. Meshel resigned in 1993 to lead the Ohio Democratic Party for two years.
Pepper says Meshel remained active in the Mahoning Valley's political, economic and cultural life into his 90s.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement on the passing of former Ohio Senate President Harry Meshel.
"I loved Harry Meshel. No one fought harder than Harry Meshel for the little guy - whether she punches a clock in Warren, works construction in Youngstown, or cleans floors at Harry's beloved YSU. Every time I spoke with Harry, I learned something. No one understood the voters better."