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FLOYD HASKELL DIES; FORMER SENATOR FROM COLORADO WAS VIETNAM WAR FOE

Floyd Haskell, whose ardent opposition to the Vietnam War propelled him to a seat representing Colorado in the U.S. Senate, died Tuesday at age 82.

Haskell, who switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party because of his opposition to the war, was elected to the Senate in 1972 and served one term before being defeated.

He spent much of his later life in Washington as a lobbyist and was married to National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg.

He died of pneumonia while on vacation in Maine, said Cokie Roberts, a National Public Radio reporter and family friend.

Haskell served in the Colorado House of Representatives from 1965 to 1968 and as assistant majority leader in 1967 and in 1968 before leaving the General Assembly.

After switching to the Democratic Party, Haskell defeated Sen. Gordon Allott, the Republican incumbent, by a scant 9,588 votes in 1972.

Six years later, Rep. Bill Armstrong defeated Haskell in his second bid for the Senate.

Armstrong's devastating attacks on Haskell's record on spending and taxes, shown repeatedly on television, were key to the defeat.

Haskell returned to Colorado only briefly, then went back to Washington as a lobbyist and consultant until his retirement several years ago.

He was active with a bipartisan group of retired senators and senior politicians in trying to break congressional stalling. They said the rules on filibuster should be changed, and voters should demand Senate candidates vow to do it.

Haskell had been ill for several years after a fall in 1994 and lung surgery in 1995.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

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