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PHOENIX -- Family members said former state lawmaker Manuel "Lito" Pena, Jr. has died at age 88.

Henry Pena said his father died Saturday of natural causes in Phoenix and services are pending.

Pena served in the state House and Senate from 1967 through 1996. His son said he championed consumer protection and other causes that helped the "little guy."

According to an Arizona State University biography, Pena was born in Cashion and grew up in Tolleson. He returned to the Phoenix area after Army service and went to work at his father's grocery store, then became involved in voter-registration and school desegregation causes and became active in the Democratic Party.

His wife, Aurora Cruz Pena, died in March.

Pena is survived by his seven children, plus 26 grandchildren.

Associated Press,

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