Former Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords died on Monday at age 80. He was first elected as a Republican but later left the party in 2001, which cost the Republicans control of the Senate. Jeffords was a pragmatic moderate who did not fit into a Republican Party that was drifting right. He, and later Olympia Snowe of Maine, were New England Republicans, committed to using government to solve problems in fiscally responsible ways. That breed of Republican continues to disappear.
Here is a full obituary.