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Colorado House Minority Leader Hugh McKean dies at home

Autopsy report shows Hugh McKean died of a heart attack
hugh mckean, r m
Posted at 11:26 AM, Oct 30, 2022

DENVER — Colorado House Minority Leader Hugh McKean died at his home early Sunday morning, according to a news release from Colorado House Republicans.

Details surrounding the sudden death of the 55-year-old were not initially released. But according to a report from our news partners at The Denver Post, McKean had complained of pain on his left side the day before his passing.

"Hugh McKean passed away early Sunday morning at home. Funeral services are being planned and details will be made public once finalized by the family," the release said.

An autopsy was completed Sunday by the Larimer County Coroner's Office and those findings show McKean died of a heart attack, listed as acute myocardial infarction in the report. His manner of death was listed as natural.

McKean, known for his warm personality, wicked sense of humor and for reaching across the aisle to build legislative consensus, was a Republican state representative from Loveland, serving since 2016. He was elected House Minority Leader for the 73rd General Assembly last year.

McKean leaves behind a longtime partner and two children.

"Hugh was fiercely passionate about two things in his extraordinary life; serving the great state of Colorado and spending time with his family, whom he adored -- Aiden McKean, 21, Hanna McKean, 23, and his dearest partner and friend Amy Parks," the release said.

Leaders from both sides of the aisle have reacted to the news. Below are statements from those Colorado leaders.

“I am devastated to hear of Minority Leader Hugh McKean’s sudden passing. A family man and a true public servant, Minority Leader McKean had a knack for making everyone feel like they were the most important person in the room. Minority Leader McKean cared deeply for his constituents, always had time for a conversation or a laugh, and truly worked every day to build a better future for every Coloradan. As a dad myself, I can't imagine the pain his children and family are feeling at this difficult time. We are sending thoughts and prayers to all of Hugh’s loved ones and take comfort knowing his legacy will be felt in Colorado for years to come,” wrote Gov. Jared Pois.

"Whenever I think of Hugh McKean, I’ll think of his smile and his positive outlook on life. One of the best memories I have of him is when I visited his office at the Capitol with my kids. In the middle of a busy legislative session, he still took the time to show my kids around his office, explain his science displays to them, and invest – even for a few minutes – in their lives. That was the Hugh McKean behind the political scene – a man who loved others and was happy to invest in them," wrote Kristi Burton Brown, Chairwoman for Colorado GOP.

"Heather and I join our entire caucus and every Coloradan in mourning the sudden passing of my friend and colleague Leader McKean. Hugh worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents and cared deeply about our state and our future. In our roles as Majority and Minority Leader, we worked closely together every day, with a shared commitment to doing the people’s work. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, his loved ones and the House Republican Caucus," wrote House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar.

Polis ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff in McKean's honor a day later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.