The Gila River Indian Community mourns the loss of former U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor

Pastor was Arizona’s first Hispanic member of Congress

December 7, 2018


Communications & Public Affairs Office

Gila River Indian Community


SACATON, ARIZ. – Former U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor passed away on Nov. 27 at the age of 75. Pastor retired in 2014 after serving 23 years in Congress as Arizona’s first Hispanic congressman. He was an influential figure locally and in Washington, D.C., and a distinct role model for the Latino community.   


“The Gila River Indian Community is deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Ed Pastor. He leaves behind a legacy of public service to the State and the Nation that we honor and greatly appreciate,” Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis said.


“His legislative accomplishments include playing a critical role in the Community’s historic water settlement agreement in 2004, both in its development, enactment and implementation.”


The Gila River Indian Community shares a border with Pastor’s former 7th Congressional District. Komatke, District 6, and Maricopa Colony, District 7, run along the Community’s northwestern boundary, within a short drive the Phoenix Metro Area.


This close proximity gave Pastor a clear view and understanding of the Community’s priorities, which included his strong support for the Community’s Water Rights and the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004. 


Pastor received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University and served in the United States House of Representatives from 1991-2014. He was a former high school teacher and also served as a staff member for the late Governor Raul Castro.


“The Community will forever be in his debt. In addition to his role as public servant, we came to appreciate Congressman Pastor as a genuine friend to all of us in the Community. We will all truly miss him and we want to express our deepest condolences to his family in the time of their loss,” Gov. Lewis said.