Ronnie Campbell, a Republican House delegate from Virginia, has passed away from cancer at 68.
The Biden White House hasn’t commented on the sad news, which prompted reactions from state leaders in Virginia.
Virginia Republican dies
Republican governor Glenn Youngkin praised Campbell, who was also a former state trooper, as a dedicated public servant.
“Ronnie served the Commonwealth he loved in so many ways: as a State Trooper for over two decades, on the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors & School Board, and in the House of Delegates,” Youngkin tweeted.
Campbell won the election in 2018 to represent Virginia’s 24th district, which covers Rockbridge and Bath Counties, parts of Amherst and Augusta Counties and the independent cities of Lexington and Buena Vista.
A statement from Campbell’s social media said that he “served with honor and relentlessly fought for the best interests of others.”
“While he is no longer with us, he will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone touched by him,” the statement added. “The family asks for privacy at this time.”
Wife steps in
U.S. House Republican Rep. Ben Cline (Va.) also weighed in, noting Campbell’s various vocations as a contractor, policeman, school board member, country supervisor and lawmaker.
“We shared the privilege of representing the 24th House District, and he will long be remembered by the people of the District,” Cline said.
Campbell’s bereaved wife Ellen announced that she will be running to succeed her husband, saying she is “proud of Ronnie’s legacy and of everything we did together.” Ellen Campbell pledged to continue her husband’s conservative legacy if elected.
“With such a slim Republican majority in the House of Delegates, every single vote matters, and we need a conservative who will uphold the values that Ronnie held so dear,” she said.
Lawmaker protested the 2020 election
During his time in the House of Delegates, Campbell pushed legislation to ban local gun control ordinances and expand workers’ compensation eligibility for police dispatchers, the Washington Post reported.
He was one of a few Republican delegates in Virginia to protest the state’s 2020 election results, saying it was his “sworn duty to uphold Virginia’s Constitution.” Democrats responded by stripping Campbell of a committee assignment.
Democrats joined in eulogizing Campbell, with Del. Elizabeth R. Guzman calling him a “kind and gracious man and an advocate for workers.”
Virginia’s Republican House Speaker Todd Gilbert said Campbell was still preparing legislation for next year’s session just “hours” before he died.