Florida Democratic congressional candidate April Freeman died unexpectedly Sunday night. She was 54.
Freeman was running for the congressional seat soon to be vacated by Rep. Tom Rooney (R), who will be retiring in January.
Freeman's husband, David, posted on Facebook:
Its with great sadness that I feel I must inform all of you that my beloved wife April passed away suddenly last night. To all of her family and friends here on Facebook, my heart aches with you.
It is not clear at this point when on Sunday Freeman died or what the cause was. Her campaign Facebook page shared a link from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 5:07 a.m. ET. This was the last social media post from her campaign.
Freeman and her husband have two daughters and two grandchildren.
Freeman was competing against Republican state Sen. Greg Steube for 17th Congressional District seat, which has historically been reliably Republican.
Steube released a statement on Monday offering his condolences to Freeman's family:
My thoughts and prayers are with April Freeman’s family in the wake of her tragic passing. I respect her service to our community and admire her commitment to the causes she cared about. Out of respect to her memory, next week’s campaign event will be cancelled.
The Sarasota County Democratic Party released a statement that said, "April was a beautiful person. She worked tirelessly for veterans, seniors, and the entire community. We are heartbroken and send our condolences to her family and friends."
Southern Sarasota County is included in the 17th Congressional District.
A committee of county chairs from all the counties that make up the congressional district is expected to pick a replacement candidate by Friday. However, some out-of-state ballots have already been submitted by mail.