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Former Rep. John Adler, D-NJ, dies at 51

AP

FILE - Former U.S. Rep. John Adler, D-NJ, stops to answer a question as he walks from a polling place in June 2010 after voting in the state's primary election. The New Jersey Star Ledger reported Monday that state Sen. Paul Sarlo announced Adler's death after a hearing today.

Former Rep. John Adler, a New Jersey Democrat who served for one term in the United States House and for over 15 years in the New Jersey state senate, has died at the age of 51.

Adler underwent emergency surgery last month after he contracted a staph infection in the lining of his heart. The former congressman's  father also suffered from a heart ailment and died when the younger Adler was a teenager.

The New Jersey Star Ledger reported Monday that state Sen. Paul Sarlo announced Adler’s death after a hearing today.

The Harvard graduate and longtime state lawmaker served in the New Jersey state senate from 1992-2008 before being elected to the U.S. House in a tight race against Lockheed Martin executive Chris Myers. He served on the House Financial Services Committee for two years but was defeated in 2010 by his Republican challenger, former NFL player Jon Runyan.