Former Ariz. House Speaker Joe Lane dies

Joe Lane
Joe Lane

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services

Former House Speaker Joe Lane, whose political career was cut short in the wake of the impeachment of Gov. Evan Mecham, died Thursday in Tucson.

His brother, Charles B. “Doc” Lane, who has lobbied for years for the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, said his brother was at a rehabilitation center following surgery to correct back problems. But Lane said his brother, 78, had been living at an assisted living facility for some time before that.

The Willcox rancher was first elected to the Legislature in 1978 as a Republican from a district including most of Cochise County and portions of Graham and Greenlee counties that had been largely represented by Democrats for years. He was reelected every two years and eventually rose to be speaker of the House after the 1986 election. That was the same year voters elected Mecham as governor.

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