Former congressman Butler Derrick, a Democrat who gave up his seat as Republicans started to take over most of South Carolina politics, died Monday after a bout with cancer, his spokesman said. He was 77.

Derrick represented the state's 3rd Congressional District in the western part of the state from 1974-94, but did not run for re-election ahead of what was a Republican sweep year.

Derrick died in Easley with his family by his side.

"He certainly was courageous in the face of the relaities of his illness," said spokesman Johnny Gregory, his former administrative assistant in Congress.

For a while after leaving office Derrick lived in Charleston.