Hugh McKean, Colorado House Republican Leader, Dead at 55

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Zalubowski/AP/Shutterstock (11794742l) Colorado House Minority Leader Hugh McKean speaks during a news conference outside the Governor's mansion, in Denver. Leaders from both the Democratic and Republican parties outlined the plan to spend $700 million over the next 18 months on job-creating transportation programs, sustaining a multibillion dollar agriculture industry and delivering critical aid to small businesses hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus over the past year Colorado Stimulus Spending, Denver, United States - 10 Mar 2021
Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Zalubowski/AP/Shutterstock (11794742l) Colorado House Minority Leader Hugh McKean speaks during a news conference outside the Governor's mansion, in Denver. Leaders from both the Democratic and Republican parties outlined the plan to spend $700 million over the next 18 months on job-creating transportation programs, sustaining a multibillion dollar agriculture industry and delivering critical aid to small businesses hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus over the past year Colorado Stimulus Spending, Denver, United States - 10 Mar 2021

David Zalubowski/AP/Shutterstock

Colorado House minority leader and former Loveland City Councilman Hugh McKean has died. He was 55.

Colorado House Republicans announced the news Sunday in a press release shared with PEOPLE, writing, "It is with great sadness we announce the sudden passing of House Minority Leader Hugh McKean."

"Hugh was fiercely passionate about serving the great state of Colorado and will be missed dearly," the statement continued. "Funeral services are being planned and details will be made public once finalized."

DENVER, CO - MAY 11 : Colorado State capitol building photographed in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.(Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MAY 11 : Colorado State capitol building photographed in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.(Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty

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The release did not reveal his cause of death.

According to The Denver Post, McKean's deputy chief of staff, Roger Hudson said McKean had been complaining about pain on the left side of his body which McKean claimed may have been the result of an injury he suffered while working on his house.

Hudson and Rep. Colin Larson shared that McKean's pain did not improve and had become worse by Sunday morning to the point he had to call his longtime partner Amy Parks for help.

Upon her arrival, she saw an ambulance outside the house, Larson told The Post.

DENVER, CO - MAY 11 : Colorado State capitol building photographed in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.(Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MAY 11 : Colorado State capitol building photographed in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.(Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty

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"He was a dear friend, and I'm going to miss him," Larson said of the late politician, per the outlet. "I can't believe he's gone. And my heart just breaks for Amy and his son and daughter and Amy's kids. He was just such a loving dad, and he talked about his kids all the time. I hope that they know that."

In 2016, McKean was elected to represent Colorado House District 51 before being appointed as the leader of the Colorado House Republicans four years later.

Prior to serving as a state representative, McKean was a city councilman in Loveland. He was seeking a fourth term in the upcoming election before his sudden death.

Colorado GOP Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown expressed her sorrow after learning about the news, calling him "a good man who worked for a better life for families all across Colorado."

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"Whenever I saw him or spoke to him, he had an encouraging word and was ready to lift others up," she wrote in part in a statement on Twitter. "Whenever I think of Hugh McKean, I'll think of his smile and his positive outlook on life."

Colorado Democratic State Senator Kerry Donovan also paid tribute to McKean after his death.

"Such sad news about @hmckean. My thoughts to all those who held him the closest," she said. "No matter the topic or the debate, we always ended up joking about something by the end. I'll miss that."

In addition to Parks, McKean is survived by his children Aiden McKean, 21, and Hanna McKean, 23.