Former U.S. Rep. William Ratchford, a former state House speaker from Danbury who later represented western Connecticut in Congress, was remembered Sunday by Attorney General-elect George Jepsen as “a kind, compassionate man” and an advocate for high ethical standards in government.

Ratchford, 76, died Sunday in Arlington, Va., from complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Jepsen said he got his start in politics working on Ratchford’s unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 1974. Jepsen managed Ratchford’s campaign in 1978, when he won the seat.

“As House Speaker in the Connecticut General Assembly in the late 1960s, Bill Ratchford was an early advocate for high ethical standards and transparency in government. As a state legislator and congressman, he stood up to protect working families, the environment, and consumers,” Jepsen said.

Ratchford lost in 1984 to a 27-year-old Republican state legislator named John G. Rowland.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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