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Michigan lawmaker killed by virus hailed as cheerful battler

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Michigan lawmaker killed by virus hailed as cheerful battler

In this Dec. 27, 2019, photo, State Reps. Isaac Robinson and Cynthia A. Johnson, D-Detroit, protest with community members in Detroit over the expansion of a treatment center in Hamtramck. First-term Michigan State Rep. Robinson died Sunday, March 29, 2020, according to this mother, who said she suspects her son’s death could be related to the coronavirus. He was 44. (Sarah Rahal/Detroit News via AP) less In this Dec. 27, 2019, photo, State Reps. Isaac Robinson and Cynthia A. Johnson, D-Detroit, protest with community members in Detroit over the expansion of a treatment center in Hamtramck. First-term Michigan … more Photo: Sarah Rahal, AP

State Rep. Isaac Robinson was devoted to politics and Detroit, battling for decades on behalf of the city’s underdogs until succumbing to its latest scourge: the coronavirus.

The 44-year-old lawmaker was midway through his first term in the Michigan House when he died Sunday, hours after checking into Detroit Medical Center. But he was hardly a newcomer to public service.

The son of a state legislator, he ran campaigns, worked for the late Rep. John Conyers and served as political director of a Teamsters local union. A lawyer, devout Catholic and staunch progressive, he cheerfully championed long-shot causes and people without wealth or power, family and friends said.

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“He’d look out for the normal, common guy,” said Meeko Williams, director of Hydrate Detroit, a nonprofit organization that helps residents who lose water service because of unpaid bills. “He had a big heart. You could call on him and you knew he would help you.”

His death came as a shock, even in a city that’s become one of […]

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