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State Rep. Greg Forristall passes away after battle with cancer

**FILE** Shown in this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, file photo is State Rep. Greg Forristall, R-Macedonia, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

State Rep. Greg Forristall, a lawmaker from western Iowa, has passed away after his battle with cancer.

“Our hearts are heavy today with the passing of Rep. Greg Forristall, who fought courageously during his battle with cancer," House Speaker Linda Upmeyer said in an emailed statement of her GOP colleague. "He was a dedicated public servant to the people he represented and an advocate for the arts and education, two issues that he was incredibly passionate for. He will be sorely missed."

Forristall, 67, who is from Macedonia, was elected to serve his sixth term in the Iowa Legislature last November. He was chair of the education committee between 2011-2013 and the labor committee from 2013-2017.

Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann, who served with Forristall for six years in the Iowa House, said his "fond memories of friendship and respect for Representative Forristall will never diminish."

"In the tradition of Ronald Reagan, Greg was a "happy warrior" - after hearing from his constituents, he'd plant his feet and stand firm for what was best for them and their families," Kaufmann said in a statement.

Both Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds issued statements praising Forristall's work in the Iowa House.

“I was sorry to hear about Greg Forristall’s passing today,” Branstad said. “Greg bravely fought cancer for months while going above and beyond to fulfill his legislative duties and serve his constituents in western Iowa. He was an outstanding legislator and will be greatly missed."

“For 11 years, he fought hard for children’s education, job growth and protecting Iowa’s small businesses," Reynolds said.

His wife, Carol, taught music in Iowa public schools for 35 years.

Forristall represented House District 22 in western Iowa, which includes parts of Pottawattamie County.

Service arrangements are pending. A special election for his seat will be announced at a later date.

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