02/26/2009 12:15 AM ET
DOVER, Del. (AP)- Delaware's governor's office says former Lt. Gov. Jim McGinnis has died. He was 77.
Gov. Jack Markell's office says McGinnis died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
Markell says the lieutenant governor from 1977 to 1981 provided critical economic leadership when the state needed it.
The Democratic lieutenant governor served under Republican Gov. Pete du Pont. McGinnis also served four years in the state's House of Representatives.
Markell said McGinnis is an example amid today's economic challenges of bipartisan service. He said the Democrat helped Delaware address its significant economic struggles in the late 1970s.
On Thursday Gov. Jack Markell called McGinnis a good man.
"He was just a wonderful person. He reached out to me and encouraged me and he gave me ideas. I think its a real loss for Delaware and my heart goes out to the family," said Gov. Markell.