Mon. 8:15 p.m.: Friends pay tribute to former Sen. Harry Meshel, who died today

YOUNGSTOWN — Area politicians are expressing grief at the passing of Harry Meshel, the former state senator from Youngstown and former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, and acknowledging his contributions.

Meshel, 93, died today. He served five terms as the senator for the 33rd district winning the seat in 1971. By the time he left the Ohio Senate, Meshel was its president.

“Harry Meshel was a true champion for the underdog,” said state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, the current 33rd District seat-holder, said today. “People say that all the time, but Harry lived it.

“I’m so grateful that I had an opportunity to learn from Harry. He treated people with respect no matter who they were or where they came from.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said, “I loved Harry Meshel. No one fought harder than Harry Meshel for the little guy — whether she punches a clock in Warren, works construction in Youngstown or cleans floors at Harry’s beloved YSU.

“Every time I spoke with Harry, I learned something,” Brown said. “No one understood the voters better.”

State Rep. John Boccieri, D-Poland, said Meshel chaired a number of Boccieri’s campaigns for office.

“He is a legend in Mahoning Valley politics for what he delivered for the region, from the creation of Lake Milton State Park to critical funding for Youngstown State University, but he will be remembered most for his unrelenting pursuit for workers rights, veteran benefits and giving a voice to the voiceless,” Boccieri said.

“He gave me valuable advice on how to conduct myself while in office and I will miss my old friend and mentor dearly.”

Read more about Meshel’s life and accomplishments in the Tuesday Tribune Chronicle.