While touring the Cleveland Clinic a few years ago, Ralph Regula noticed pins worn by some of the staff.

“Patients first,” they read.

Regula latched onto the phrase. He asked who made them for the hospital because he wanted buttons to read “constituents first” for his workers.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Regula said. “That’s our job.”

Constituents were Regula’s primary concern during the 36 years he served as representative of Ohio’s 16th Congressional District — a tenure that ends Friday with his retirement.

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