Virginia Delegate Ronnie Campbell, a conservative with an extensive record of public service, died from cancer on Tuesday at 68.
A special election will be held for his delegate seat, and according to WSET-TV, there’s a surprise contender.
Campbell served as a state trooper, Rockbridge County supervisor and school board member in addition to his legislative work over the course of his illustrious career. He was also a husband, father and grandfather.
The entirety of the statement posted to his social media platforms is posted below, as reported by WSLS-TV:
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Delegate Ronnie Campbell, after a hard fought battle with cancer. Delegate Campbell was a husband, father, grandfather and friend. From his time in the Virginia State Police to his time in the House of Delegates, Ronnie 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 family asks for privacy at this time. Arrangements will be made over the next few days.”
Campbell was elected to the Virginia General Assembly in 2018 and focused primary on law enforcement and gun rights issues during his time in office, according to The Washington Post.
He was known for attempting to permit police dispatchers to claim hypertension or heart disease as workmen’s compensation-eligible occupational diseases, along with trying to make local gun-control ordinances unconstitutional.
Campbell has been mourned by Democrats and Republicans alike.
“Saddened to hear about the passing of Delegate Ronnie Campbell,” said Delegate Marcus Simon, a Democrat. “Though we didn’t always agree on the issues, I respected his dedication to public service & his commitment to the people of Virginia. My thoughts & prayers are with his family & loved ones during this difficult time”
Saddened to hear about the passing of Delegate Ronnie Campbell. Though we didn’t always agree on the issues, I respected his dedication to public service & his commitment to the people of Virginia. My thoughts & prayers are with his family & loved ones during this difficult time
— Marcus Simon (@marcussimon) December 13, 2022
“He was a kind and gracious man and an advocate for workers. We will miss him so very dearly,” tweeted Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, another Democrat.
He was eulogized by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, as a man who “cared deeply about his community, the Commonwealth, law enforcement, and above all his wife, Ellen, and their family,” according to the Post.
House Speaker Todd Gilbert, another Republican, said in a statement, according to KPVI-DT, that “A detail from one of my last conversations with Ronnie speaks volumes about the kind of man he was. His biggest worry wasn’t the disease attacking his body, or any concern over what comes next. No, Ronnie was worried that he wouldn’t be able to make it [to] Richmond to do his job, to be the voice for his constituents that they elected him to be.
“Just hours before his passing, he was working to see that the legislation he had prepared for the upcoming session wouldn’t fall by the wayside if for some reason he couldn’t be with us.”
Ronnie Campbell’s wife, Ellen Campbell, has announced her attempt to honor his legacy — she’s running for his delegate seat.
“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, according to WSET.
“I cannot think of a better way to honor my husband’s memory than to continue where he left off in the House.”
While the state of Virginia may have lost a well-respected, conservative leader, hope remains for the Campbell family to continue its proud tradition of public service.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.