Former Senator George Voinovich passes

George V. Voinovich, a former two-term United States Senator and two-term Governor of Ohio died June 12 at his home in Cleveland, Ohio. He was 79.

During his senate career, Senator Voinovich served as Co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force and led passage of visionary legislation to protect Lake Erie, including banning lake drilling, creating the Great Lakes Compact, funding cleanup of contaminated sediment and addressing the threat of invasive species and algae blooms. As Mayor of Cleveland and Governor of Ohio, he helped leverage the Port of Cleveland as an asset for public-private partnership and economic growth centered on maritime.

“The Port of Cleveland extends its heartfelt condolences to Senator Voinovich’s family and friends,” said Will Friedman, Port President and CEO. “During his nearly five decades of public service, he was a consistent voice calling for the protection and promotion of Ohio’s most vital asset—Lake Erie. His voice and leadership will be sorely missed.”

“When the Port of Cleveland was founded in 1968, Senator Voinovich was a first term Representative in the Ohio House,” said Chris Ronayne, Chair of the Port’s Board of Directors. “During the next five decades, he played a key role in transforming Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River from a national punchline to a global success story of reclamation and rebirth. Our Port and, more importantly, our community owes him a debt that can never be repaid.”

In 2009, Voinovich announced he would not run for a third senate term. He was succeeded by a fellow Republican Rob Portman.

Maritime Editorial