Ex-Gary Mayor Rudy Clay dies after battling prostate cancer

Photo: RudyClay.com/flickr

Former Gary Mayor Rudy Clay has died after battling prostate cancer. He was 77.
Chelsea Whittington, a spokeswoman to current Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, says the mayor received a telephone call from Clay's family saying he died Tuesday.
Whittington says the cause of death isn't confirmed but it comes two years after Clay dropped a re-election bid because of the cancer. He said at the time that cancer treatments and a political campaign do not mix.
A political stalwart in heavily Democratic Lake County, he became the county Democratic chairman in 2005, and party leaders appointed him mayor in 2006. He was elected to a full term the following year. He was elected to the Indiana Senate in 1972, serving one term, and won election to other Lake County offices

Remembered as an icon

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is remembering her predecessor, Rudy Clay, as an icon in the community.
Freeman-Wilson issued a statement following Clay's death Tuesday saying "his heart for the citizens of Gary, Indiana will be remembered and cherished for years to come."
Clay was appointed mayor by Democratic leaders in 2006 and elected to a four-year term the following year. He was seeking-re-election in 2011 when he dropped the effort because of the cancer.

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