One of Alabama's longest serving legislators, former Democratic state Senate President Pro Tem Hinton Mitchem of Union Grove, has died. He was 74.
Direct Communications President Rick Heartsill, a friend of Mitchem, says the former senator died Tuesday after a long illness.
Mitchem was a longtime tractor dealer in Albertville. He was first elected to the Albertville City Council in 1968 and then to the state House of Representatives in 1974. After serving four years in the House, he was elected to the Senate in 1978 and in 1982.
He gave up his seat in 1986 to run in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, finishing third in a field of four.
Mitchem was re-elected to the Senate in a special election in 1987 and held the seat until 2010.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.