Longtime S. Phila. lawmaker dead at 58

A South Philadelphia political power broker, Rep. Robert Donatucci, died suddenly in his sleep early yesterday, leaving behind a legacy of 30 years serving the city in Harrisburg.

Donatucci, 58, last week won re-election to the General Assembly in the 185th District.

“Rep. Donatucci was a gentleman — and a gentle man — who devoted his life to his family and public service,” Governor Ed Rendell said in a statement. “He will be remembered for his ability to reach across the aisle to form consensus.”

One Democratic House leader spoke of his long commitment to state liquor laws. “Donatucci’s service as Chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee is distinguished by a relentless effort to prevent underage drinking and make sure state law was always at the vanguard of consumer protection and customer service,” McCall said.

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