Former GOP Senate leader Dave Cogdill dies

July 25, 2017

MANTECA — Former California state Sen. Dave Cogdill, whose support for temporary tax increases during the state’s 2009 budget crisis ended his legislative career, has died.

He once represented part of Madera County, as a senator from the 14th District, the borders of which have since been redrawn.

The Central Valley Republican died at his home in Manteca on Sunday morning after battling pancreatic cancer, his family said. He was 66.

Cogdill served three terms in the state Assembly and was the Senate Republican leader from 2008 to 2009, during the worst budget crises in California’s history.

He helped craft a budget deal with former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrats to close a $42-billion shortfall that included more than $14 billion in temporary taxes.

Members of his party objected to the tax increases and ousted him as leader.

Schwarzenegger later praised Cogdill, saying that he “did what was right for the people.”

Cogdill and three other legislative leaders who crafted the deficit package were later awarded the Profile In Courage award by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. They were praised for standing up to constituent and party pressure to address California’s severe financial crises.

“Dave always put CA’s interests above party,” Gov. Jerry Brown tweeted Sunday.

“Senator Cogdill served the California State Legislature with honor and with courage during a time when California was going through an economic downturn,” Senate Republican leader Patricia Bates said in a statement. “He selflessly dedicated his career in public service for the constituents of the Golden State and made a difference in the lives of those he touched whether it was in the Legislature or in the private sector.”

Cogdill did not run for re-election in 2010 and returned home, where he served as assessor of Stanislaus County, commissioner on the California Water Commission, chairman of the Maddy Institute at Fresno State University and president of the California Building Industry Association.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Stephanie, and two children.


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