Former Tennessee state lawmaker Kathryn Bowers dies

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(Photo: WKRN)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Former state lawmaker Kathryn Bowers, who was an advocate for women, children, the mentally ill and the poor, has died. She was 72.

Shelby County Democratic Party Chairwoman Randa Spears said Bowers, a Democrat from Memphis, died Wednesday after an illness.

According to media reports, Bowers served in the state House from 1995-2005, and then became a member of the Senate in 2006. She resigned later that year citing her health, though she had been indicted in the Tennessee Waltz corruption probe. She later pleaded guilty to bribery and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

After getting out of prison, she again became active in community issues.

U.S. Rep. Steven Cohen said in a statement on Thursday that Bowers was “a tireless advocate for women, the poor and underserved.”

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