MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and members of the state Legislature say they remember Representative Demetrius Newton as a true gentleman and an effective public servant.
Newton died Wednesday after a long illness. He was the first black person to serve as speaker pro tem of the Alabama House. Newton was also a civil rights attorney in Birmingham during the turbulent 1960s.
Bentley served for eight years with Newton in the House. Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard said newton was "an intelligent, fair and kind man."
Hubbard and President emeritus of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Charles Steele, say Newton's impact on the Civil Rights Movement will be a powerful part of Alabama history.
Democratic State Rep. Alvin Holmes says the state lost "a great public servant" with Newton's death.
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