Former senator Paul J. Fannin, 94, an Arizona Republican whose two-term career from 1965 to 1977 was marked by fights to limit the influence of labor unions, died of a stroke Jan. 13 at his home in Phoenix, his family said.
A three-term governor of Arizona, the conservative Mr. Fannin won the seat of longtime friend Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, who did not seek reelection in 1964 after winning the Republican presidential nomination.
As a freshman senator with relatively little clout and name recognition, Mr. Fannin struggled in 1965 to focus attention on the proposed elimination of provision 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, which restricted union activities.
The amendment, championed by organized labor, many Democrats and President Lyndon B. Johnson, would have eliminated so-called "right-to-work" laws passed by a number of states restricting compulsory union membership.
"Fannin was the only one paying attention to the issue," said Reed Larson, president of the National Right to Work Committee, who was active during the Senate fight. "For a time, it looked like he was going to have to go it alone." Eventually, a coalition of Republicans and southern Democrats united to defeat the change.
Mr. Fannin denounced the strikes of the late 1960s and early 1970s in various industries, saying they threatened the country's economy and security.
Mr. Fannin, a proponent of stricter sentencing provisions, made headlines in 1973, when he pleaded guilty to drunken driving and served a day in jail. The charge had been dropped, but it was reinstated after questions arose about favoritism.
Mr. Fannin, the ranking Republican on the Interior Committee, was often the spokesman for the Nixon and Ford administrations on energy policy. Mr. Fannin opposed new limits on strip-mining and expanding Interior Department authority over federal land.
Among his proudest achievements was sponsoring the Central Arizona Project, which piped water from the Colorado River to the Phoenix and Tucson areas, greatly aiding development.
He did not run for reelection, citing his wife's flagging health.
Mr. Fannin was born in Ashland, Ky., and raised in Phoenix.
He attended the University of Arizona and was a graduate of Stanford University.
After graduation, he returned to Phoenix and worked in the family hardware business before starting a gas and petroleum equipment company with his brother. After selling the company, he won the governor's office in 1958, 1960 and 1962.
As governor, he fought to increase public education funding to metropolitan areas and to equalize the state property tax.
After leaving the Senate, he served on the board of the Central Arizona Project and worked with energy concerns.
His wife, Elma Fannin, died last year.
Survivors include three sons, Bob and Tom, both of Phoenix, and Bill, of Petaluma, Calif.; a daughter, Linda Rider of Phoenix; 10 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
His son Bob is chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.