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Opinion | John Ryder saw the good in everyone, regardless of party or position | Otis Sanford

ABC24 political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shared his point of view on the death of Memphis attorney John Ryder.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are many words you could use to describe John Ryder - strategist, leader, and tactician are a few that come to mind. But there are other words that describe Ryder the person. They include affable, dedicated, and just plain likeable. The point is, Ryder made a definite impression on everyone who knew him – and positive impact on Memphis.

Ryder died over the weekend at the age of 72. He was a top lawyer in Memphis for years, but he is best known for his legal work on behalf of the Republican Party – local, state, and national. He formally served as general counsel for the Republican National Committee, and was considered the brains behind redistricting efforts in states controlled by the GOP.

While some would argue that Ryder took advantage of the redistricting process, particularly in Tennessee, he merely did what Democrats had done for years when they were in control of the legislature. He just did it better.

Beyond politics, Ryder was a community leader, a dedicated member of the Memphis Rotary Club for years, and served as attorney for the Memphis and Shelby County Film Commission.

On personal note, Ryder was always accommodating to me whenever I called to talk politics – or just have a friendly chat. And at a time when our political discourse is so strained, we should remember John Ryder – who saw the good in everyone – regardless of party or position.

RELATED: Memphian and prominent Republican attorney John Ryder loses life to cancer

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