Tributes pour in after State Representative’s death

State Rep. John Kivela, (D) Marquette Photo courtesy: Michigan House Democrats

Tributes to State Rep. John Kivela are pouring in after word of his apparent suicide on Tuesday.

His death comes a day after his second arrest for drunk driving, which happened on Monday.

The 47-year-old Democrat from Marquette left behind a wife and two children.

Those tributes crossed party lines. 

“The news of Rep. John Kivela’s passing is devastating to all who knew and worked with him,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “Lt. Gov. Calley and I spent a lot of time working with John in his district — he was a great person and this is very sad news. John was a tremendous partner in the Legislature who always put the needs of his constituents in Marquette and the Upper Peninsula first. It is with great sadness that I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends, loved ones and colleagues in the Legislature as we mourn his untimely passing.”   

“We are all devastated to hear the news about Rep. Kivela today,” said House Speaker Tom Leonard, (R) DeWitt. “He was a good friend and partner to everyone he met in the House, and he was an absolute joy to work with. He cared deeply about his family, his community, and his work as a public servant, and it came through strongly in every conversation we had.”

“We are deeply saddened to learn of John Kivela’s death,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon. “Having served with John in the legislature, I know how much he cared about his family, his friends, and the people he served in Marquette. Our hearts, prayers, and deepest condolences go out to his wife, Sandy, and his children, Shelby and Andrew.”

“I am deeply saddened at the passing of state Rep. John Kivela,” said Minority Floor Leader Sam Singh, (D) East Lansing. “He was a champion for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a strong advocate for working people throughout Michigan. He was my friend, and I will miss him.”

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