By Jeb Inge -- email@example.com
William S. Wampler, who over four decades represented southwest Virginia's "Fightin' 9th" district in Congress, died Wednesday at his home in Bristol. He was 86.
Wampler, a moderate Republican and World War II veteran, began his congressional career in 1952, serving a single term to 1954 representing the 9th district in the mountainous western tip of the state. He was reelected in 1966 and continued to serve uninterrupted until 1982 when he lost to Democrat Ric Boucher.
"I have personally been touched by the passion the Wampler family has for Virginia and for creating opportunity for all of the people of the Southwest," Gov. Robert F. McDonnell said in a statement. McDonnell announced Wampler's death in a release Thursday.
George Allen, former Gov. and currently one of four GOP candidates for U.S. Senate, also remembered Wampler in a release.
"Congressman Wampler was a trusted, sharp advisor to me and a vibrant, creative and ardent advocate for common sense conservative principles and ways to improve the lives and opportunities of his constituents," Allen said in the release.
Wampler's son, William C. Wampler Jr., represented Bristol in the state Senate from 1988 to 2011.
This post was updated at 5 p.m.