IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Former state senator and longtime eastern Idaho broadcast personality Mel Richardson has died.

The Post Register reports that 86-year-old Richardson passed away Thursday after battling with cancer since July. Richardson began his radio career nearly 65 years ago. Eventually, he became the voice of a conservative talk show in Idaho Falls and gained the respect of community and statewide leaders while interviewing them on a variety of topics.

Richardson became the first elected mayor of the recently incorporated Ammon in 1968. He then served in the Idaho Statehouse beginning in 1986 until he retired 20 years later. He earned the nickname "Sen. Mel Tech" for his early support of incorporating technology in Idaho classrooms and created the Idaho Council on Technology in Learning.