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State Senator Jenny Oropeza Dies At 53

LONG BEACH - State Sen. Jenny Oropeza has died at a hospital in Long Beach after a long illness. Oropeza was 53.

Oropeza was a Redondo Beach-based Democrat who represented the state’s 28th Senate District, which included Long Beach. She died Wednesday night at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, according to reports.

Oropeza’s press secretary, Ray Sotero, said Thursday the senator died Wednesday night of complications from a blood clot she developed in her abdomen in May. He says the clot led to a common side effect, a buildup of fluid in her lungs that affected her breathing.

The Carson lawmaker was known for championing health and environmental causes, including unsuccessful legislation that sought to ban smoking at state parks. She also authored several bills to help the women of California. The illness forced her to miss most of this year’s session.

Oropeza had recently announced on her website that she was unable to participate in a session of the Legislature because her doctor preferred her not to travel to Sacramento.

She was diagnosed and successfully treated for liver cancer in 2004. Oropeza, who was 53, was elected to the Senate in 2006 after serving six years in the Assembly.

Oropeza, whose name will remain on the ballot in the Nov. 2 election, is expected to easily defeat Republican challenger John Stammreich in the Nov. 2 election.

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