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Former Mississippi state Sen. Rayborn dies at 83

A funeral has been held for former Mississippi state Sen. W.L. Rayborn of Brookhaven.

The Daily Leader reports Rayborn was 83 when he died Friday. Services were held Tuesday in his hometown.

Rayborn was elected in 1979, serving two decades in a district that included Lawrence, Lincoln and Pike counties in southwestern Mississippi. Former Rep. Bobby Moak says Rayborn helped create the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven.

Rayborn was a denturist. He unsuccessfully pushed for a state constitutional amendment to allow people other than licensed dentists to examine patients and to fit and sell dentures to the public.

He was defeated in the 1999 Democratic primary by Cindy Hyde-Smith. She became a Republican in 2010 and served as Mississippi agriculture commissioner before moving into the U.S. Senate.

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