MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick Lucey, a hard-nosed Democratic politician who later became ambassador to Mexico, has died. He was 96.
His son, Paul Lucey, says Patrick Lucey died Saturday night at the Milwaukee Catholic Home after a brief illness.
Lucey was elected governor in 1970 and won re-election in 1974, but left midway through his second term to serve as then-President Jimmy Carter's ambassador to Mexico.
Lucey also ran for vice president of the United States as an independent with John Anderson in 1980.
He will perhaps be remembered most in Wisconsin for pushing to merge the University of Wisconsin in Madison with the state college system, a fierce battle that created a system of 13 four-year state colleges.
Lucey was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 1918.
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