Rep. Bob Gannon, R-West Bend, was found dead Tuesday from what appear to be “natural causes,” according to the Washington County sheriff’s office.
Gannon was found unresponsive in a pick-up truck on Tuesday night.
Gannon, only 58 years old, was first elected to the state legislature in 2014. In his almost three-year tenure, Gannon made a name for himself as an unconventional and passionate conservative.
As reported by The Cap Times, one of Gannon’s most controversial moments came in January 2016, when he flipped off then-Assembly Democratic leader Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, after Barca accused Gannon of making racially charged comments regarding crime in Milwaukee.
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For many, however, Gannon’s abrasive personality and unconventional style were something to be admired.
In a statement, Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said Gannon would be missed by his Assembly colleagues.
“The Assembly family has lost an outspoken conservative who made the chamber and our caucus a livelier place,” Vos said. “Bob will be remembered for his unwavering passion and unapologetic approach to politics.”
According to Vos’s statement, Gannon was working to tackle poverty in Wisconsin through the Assembly committee on urban revitalization.
Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, said in a statement “her heart aches” after hearing of Gannon’s passing.
“Bob was a fierce and passionate voice in the state Legislature, fighting boldly to make Wisconsin a better and safer state,” Vukmir said. “It was a privilege and joy to serve with him in the Capitol.”
Despite their ideological differences with Gannon, Democratic lawmakers expressed their condolences to his family and loved ones following the announcement of his death.
In a statement, newly elected Assembly Democratic leader Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, expressed sorrow over Gannon’s death.
“Bob was a spirited public servant who held strong convictions and believed in what he was doing on behalf of his constituents,” Hintz said. “On behalf of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, I want to send my thoughts and prayers to his family, loved ones, and staff during this incredibly difficult time.”
Gannon is survived by his wife and two children.