Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll has died

From the Post-Gazette:

HARRISBURG — Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll has died, the governor's office announced tonight.

Mrs. Knoll, 78, had battled a rare form of cancer.

Earlier today, Mr. Rendell had reported that Mrs. Knoll remained in a rehab center and was continuing her “rough and difficult fight” against the cancer.

Mrs. Knoll died at 6 p.m. at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C., according to Mary Isenhour, executive director of the Democratic State Committee.

“This is a very emotional thing. We extend our sympathies to the Baker Knoll family in their time of loss,” Ms. Isenhour said.

A 40-year veteran of Allegheny County Democratic political wars, Mrs. Knoll served as state treasurer and made a strong third-place finish out of seven candidates in the 1994 Democratic primary for governor.

Eight years later she went on to capture her highest post, lieutenant governor in the Rendell administration.

She was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer in May.

The man in line to take over as lieutenant governor, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, said Ms. Knoll “was a tremendous leader for the commonwealth and embodied the type of character expected of true, effective public servants. Her passion and commitment to bettering the lives of Pennsylvanians will be sorely missed, as it was certainly a staple of her public service.”

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