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— Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission Director Steve Bryles, a former state senator, has died at age 55.

Poultry commission Deputy Director Fred Wiedower said Bryles died early Friday after a battle with cancer.

Bryles was elected to the state Senate from a Blytheville area district in 2001 and served until 2011 when he became deputy director of the poultry commission. He was appointed commission director in March by Gov. Mike Beebe.

Beebe issued a statement saying Bryles was always deliberate, level-headed and “a good friend with a gentle heart.”

Wiedower said funeral arrangements have not been made.

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