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Democrat Tony Earl, former Wisconsin governor, dies at 86

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Former Wisconsin Governor Tony Earl, who couldn’t overcome a sour economy and was turned out by voters after a single term in the 1980s, has died. He was 86.

The Democrat was an advocate for gay rights but he also got the nickname “Tony the Taxer” from political foes for tax hikes he signed into law to deal with a state budget deficit.

Earl served only one term as governor, from 1983 to 1987, before being beaten by Republican Tommy Thompson. Earl’s political career ended after he lost a Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate in 1988 to Herb Kohl.

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