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Former Broward state Rep. Jack Tobin has died

Jack Tobin, a colorful and at times controversial Democratic state legislator from South Florida for nearly two decades, died Tuesday after an illness. He was 69.

Tobin was a lobbyist in recent years and was in the Capitol as recently as a week and a half ago.

From 1982 to 1998, Tobin represented Northwest Broward County in the state House, a time when Democrats were as dominant as the Republicans are today, and he was among the leaders of a tight-knit group of House members known as the "Broward Mafia."

Known for his sharp sense of humor, Tobin was never shy about his close relationships with lobbyists.  He was revered by his constituents, many of them, like him, Jewish "snowbirds" who transplanted from New York City in the '70s and '80s and made a new life for themselves in South Florida.

-- Steve Bousquet