WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — State Rep. John Binienda, a Worcester Democrat who served nearly three decades in the Massachusetts Legislature, has died after a battle with diabetes and kidney disease.
Binienda was 67.
A teacher before being elected to represent his home city in 1986, he was known as a tireless worker who rarely missed a house vote. Highly respected by his colleagues, he served as chairman of the Committee on Rules.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo called Binienda a “fierce advocate” for his district, and a mentor to newly-elected legislators.
“His unrivaled love for Worcester and his work on behalf of his constituents are marks of his true nature — someone who was never afraid to stand up and fight for what he knew was right,” DeLeo said in a statement Friday. “He lent his powerful voice to those who needed to be heard on Beacon Hill and he will be sorely missed.”
Binienda announced last year that he would not seek another term in the House in November, citing health reasons.
City Manager Edward Augustus said Worcester “has lost one of its greatest champions.”
In May, Binienda received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Worcester State University, the Telegram and Gazette reported.
Former Worcester Rep. Vincent Pedone said Binienda avoided the public spotlight. “He would check his ego and just go about doing his job,” Pedone told the newspaper.
Memorial arrangements are pending.