TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) State leaders and lawmakers are remembering the late Cecil Andrus, former governor and interior secretary, who passed away this week. Family say Andrus died from complications from lung cancer on Wednesday at the age of 85. Andrus served as Idaho governor before the Carter Administration tapped him as the Secretary of the Interior.

"Cecil Andrus made everyone around him better. He was a mentor to me and many others, raising our standards and inspiring us to think big. He combined stubborn idealism with common sense – a lunch-bucket liberal proudly reflecting his timber country upbringing and values. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter said in a prepared statement "Whatever you thought of his politics, Cece was always true to what he believed, and he believed in Idaho. His voice will be missed in our public life, and I will miss his counsel and friendship. Carol and the Andrus family are in our thoughts and prayers."

Statement from Idaho Democratic leadership:

“Idaho lost a giant this week,” said Idaho House Democratic Leader Mat Erpelding.  “The impact he had on Idaho in terms of protecting the state’s natural beauty, investing in education and fighting for the future of rural Idahoans has not been matched since.  Personally, I have lost a mentor and friend whose influence on my life and career cannot be overstated.”

“He was as strong as he was compassionate and he wanted nothing more than to see Idahoans from all walks of life succeed,” said Senate Democratic Leader Michelle Stennett.  “Governor Andrus’ brand of leadership comes around once in a generation.  Today is a sad day for all Idahoans.”

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"Governor Andrus was a dynamic and effective leader who knew how to wield authority and get things done for Idaho, and for the nation.  His leadership and sense of purpose as a public servant were demonstrated repeatedly during his long career in public service. He earned my respect, and I count him as a friend.  He will be forever remembered as a leader of great accomplishment. I send my heartfelt sympathies to his family as they, along with Idaho, mourn his passing." Sen. Mike Crapo

“Idaho and our nation have lost a truly great statesman and conservationist today.  Kathy and I send our prayers and thoughts to his family for their loss.

Governor Andrus will rightly be remembered as a legend in the conservation field.  It was fitting that he cut his political teeth protecting Castle Peak as I think they both have a lot in common.  They are giants in Idaho and icons to those who believe conservation is a necessity and not a luxury.

We will truly miss Cece, but we will always be reminded of how great he was as we are surrounded by his legacy of conservation.” Rep. Mike Simpson

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“Governor Andrus was one of the most accomplished, successful and masterful political figures I have worked with. He had the judgment and strength to take matters where he wanted them to go. Vicki and I extend our condolences to Carol and his family and they are in our prayers.” Sen. Jim Risch