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William Bowen, Senator, 70



COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Former state Sen. William Bowen, a champion of civil
rights who later sponsored a law giving minorities more state contracts,
died on Thursday of cancer. He was 70.

Before leaving the Legislature in 1995, the Democrat spent nearly 25 years
in the Ohio Senate - believed to be the longest term served in the body by
a black.

Bowen was known for sponsoring ``set aside'' legislation requiring that
some state contracts go to minority-owned businesses and for work on tax
incentives in high unemployment areas.

Bowen was also president of the Cincinnati NAACP from 1958-64, where he
helped blacks win jobs at private companies and in the police department.

He was elected to the House in 1966 and became the third-ranking
Democratic leader.

In 1970, he was appointed to the Senate. He was elected to the seat the
same year, later becoming chairman and ranking minority member of the
Senate Finance Committee. He left the Senate in January 1995.

Despite successes on the local and state level, he was defeated in two
runs for the 1st District U.S. House seat, in 1976 and 1994.



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