A state senator from eastern Iowa who has been battling brain cancer for two years has died.
Sixty-nine-year-old Joe Seng, a Democrat from Davenport, had been a member of the Iowa Senate since 2003.
In September of 2014, Seng announced that doctors had found a tumor in his brain. He won another term in the senate two months later.
Seng served on the Davenport City Council before he was elected to one term in the Iowa House in 2000. Seng was a veterinarian and he owned a veterinary hospital in Davenport. He also owned a senior housing facility in his hometown of Lost Nation, Iowa. He has owned a bed and breakfast and a restaurant, too.
Seng died Friday, 11 days before his 70th birthday.
Seng was not up for reelection this year. A special election will be scheduled to select his replacement.
Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal issued a written statement Friday evening. Gronstal called Seng “a friend, a colleague and a good person.” Gronstal said Seng had been “tough as nails” after undergoing surgery in the fall of 2014 and returning to the statehouse when the legislature convened in January of 2015. Senate President Pam Jochum of Dubuque called Seng a “solid legislator” who wll “be missed by all of us.”
Before he was weakened by cancer treatments, Seng occasionally played his accordion and sang for his colleagues on the Senate floor.