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Former Democratic Sen. Teresa Hughes, who served in the state Legislature for 25 years, has died. She was 80.

News of the longtime legislator's death was reported by the office of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, who issued a statement calling Hughes an "outspoken voice for inclusion and justice."

"She was a fierce advocate for the men and women she represented, and spent every moment of her time in public service fighting for working families," Pérez said in a statement.

Hughes, who was first elected to a Los Angeles Assembly seat a July 1975 special election, was re-elected to eight full terms in the Assembly before winning a seat in the state Senate in 1992, according to a biography on www.JoinCalifornia.com. She served two terms in the upper house before stepping down due to term limits in 2000. Prior to running for office, Hughes worked as a legislative consultant for the State Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing and as a staffer for former state Sen. Mervyn Dymally, according to the site.

Hughes, who lived in Castro Valley at the time of her death, was married to Frank Staggers, a retired urologist who served as president of the California Medical Association and the National Medical Association.



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