ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former U.S. senator Rod Grams, a popular TV anchorman who went on to become the most conservative politician ever elected to statewide office in Minnesota, has died. He was 65.
Grams died late Tuesday night at his home in the east-central Minnesota town of Crown, said Kent Kaiser, a longtime GOP activist and spokesman for the Grams family. Grams had been diagnosed with cancer in April 2012.
After nearly a decade as lead news anchor at KMSP-TV in the Twin Cities, Grams launched his political career in 1992 by running for Congress and ousting the Democratic incumbent. The small-business owner then won an open U.S. Senate seat two years later, but he only held the post for one term. He lost his re-election bid to Democrat Mark Dayton, who is now Minnesota’s governor.