Former Sen. Arlen Specter dead at 82 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Former Sen. Arlen Specter dead at 82

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Former Senator Arlen Specter has died.

Specter spent 30 years representing Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate, for most of the time as a Republican, though he was often at odds with the GOP leadership. He began his political career as a Democrat, and in 2009 returned to the party. He was one of only three Republicans in Congress to vote for President Barack Obama's stimulus. Sen. Patrick Leahy, who first befriended Specter during their days as prosecutors, and later worked with him on the judiciary committee, said he will be missed.

"He was a person who put the country ahead of party. He worried far more about what was the right thing to do then what was the political thing to do," Leahy said.  "You make certain friendships in the senate -- some are special ones. He was one of the special ones."

Specter died at his home in Philadelphia from complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was 82.

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