April Freeman, Florida Democratic Congressional Candidate, Dies Unexpectedly

Freeman, 54, had been running in the state's 17th Congressional District.

April Freeman, the Democratic candidate in Florida’s 17th Congressional District, died unexpectedly on Sunday, her husband announced on Facebook.

“It’s with great sadness that I feel I must inform all of you that my beloved wife April passed away suddenly last night,” David Freeman wrote on the social media site on Monday. “To all of her family and friends here on Facebook, my heart aches with you.”

He later told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that his 54-year-old wife had apparently suffered a heart attack. “That’s all I know right now,” he told the paper.

April Freeman, a film producer and graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, was running against Republican state Sen. Greg Steube for the 17th District seat being vacated by retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney.

President Donald Trump won the sprawling district, which touches portions of nine counties including Sarasota, Charlotte and Polk, by a margin of 27 percentage points in 2016.

In a Monday statement mourning Freeman’s death, Florida Democratic Party chairwoman Terrie Rizzo said the mother of two children had “put her heart and soul into her community ― and was dedicated to making a better future for all Floridians.”

“Just last night she was in the office, making calls and working to get out the vote,” Rizzo added. “Her work ethic and passion was an inspiration to all of us. It is a tremendous loss to the Democratic Party and to all who knew her.”

According to the Florida Department of State, Freeman’s name will remain on the November ballot, but the state’s Democratic Party “will have the opportunity to designate a nominee to fill the vacancy,” a department spokeswoman told CNN.

“The ballot’s already printed so essentially a vote for April Freeman will be for whoever the nominee ends up being,” Ron Turner, Sarasota County’s supervisor of elections, told the Herald-Tribune.

Support HuffPost

Popular in the Community