|CA. Senator Darrell Steinberg, Areva Martin, Congressman|
Mervyn Dymally and Donna Ross Jones
Dymally, who became a leader in the Los Angeles area's ascendant African American political establishment in the early 1960s and served in both houses of the state Legislature and in Congress, died Sunday in Los Angeles, his family announced. Jasmyne Cannick, who served as Dymally's press secretary during his time in office, said he died after a period of declining health.
The controversies that surrounded him with some regularity over the years could never permanently derail his political career -- several corruption investigations all ended without charges ever being filed. Dymally always said the probes were baseless and politically motivated.
The end came instead at the hands of a rival nearly 30 years his junior: Termed out of the Assembly in 2008, Dymally, then 82, lost a grueling Democratic primary election for a state Senate seat to Rod Wright.