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Lowell Weicker, former Connecticut senator during

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Lowell Weicker Jr. a three-term maverick Republic senator from Connecticut during the Watergate era and later an independent governor in his home state, died Tuesday. He was 92.

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According to a family statement, Weicker died after a short illness in a Middletown hospital, The New York Times reported.

Weicker was one of President Richard Nixon’s adversaries during the Watergate era in the early 1970s. He was part of the Senate select committee investigating the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., according to The Washington Post.

His criticism of Nixon during the hearings alternately made him a hero or a demon, depending on party affiliation.

In one memorable moment, White House counsel John Dean had revealed that Nixon had kept an “enemies list,” which prompted a sharp response from Weicker, the Times reported.

“Let me make it clear, because I have got to have my partisan moment: Republicans do not cover up; Republicans do not go ahead and threaten; Republicans do not go ahead and commit illegal acts; and, God knows, Republicans don’t view their fellow Americans as enemies to be harassed,” Weicker said.

“I think he was just incredibly genuine, a little unfiltered,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat who considered Weicker a friend, told The Associated Press in 2021. “And we sort of miss that in this day and age with the teleprompter.”

Weicker co-authored the Americans with Disabilities Act, introduced in his final year in the U.S. Senate and passed 18 months after he left office, CT Mirror reported.

The liberal Republican served in the Senate from 1970 until he was defeated in 1988 by Democrat Joe Lieberman, the lone defeat of his career, the Post reported.

Weicker was elected as Connecticut’s governor in 1990. He restructured the state’s revenue system with a new income tax, the Times reported. He pushed the legislation through without a vote from a single member of his party in Connecticut’s General Assembly, according to the newspaper.

“I sometimes did see myself as a maverick,” Weicker once wrote. “Independent, unafraid.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont directed flags flown at half-staff in honor of Weicker, WFSB-TV reported.

“Lowell and Claudia have been great friends to Annie and me for many years, and I am grateful for the counsel and advice that he provided,” Lamont said in a statement. “He truly cared about implementing policies that improve Connecticut for the better, and I admire his independent way of leading. Lowell never ducked a tough battle, absolutely convinced that he was right, and he usually was.”{



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