Tom Schweich, Missouri auditor and gubernatorial candidate, has died

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Sad news out of Missouri today where its auditor and aspirant for governor, Tom Schweich, has died. He was 54.

Schweich was taken from his home in Clayton to a St. Louis hospital on Thursday morning following what his office described as a “medical situation” for which he was being treated. Several news outlets reported that Schweich was being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. His office confirmed his death at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Schweich had a wife and two children. Little else is known at this point.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Schweich earlier in the day had asked reporters for an interview; his wife was in another room when she heard the calls and then a gunshot.

Schweich was in his second term as Missouri auditor and had confirmed his intention to run against fellow Republican Catherine Hanaway and Democrat Chris Koster for Missouri governor to replace the termed-out Jay Nixon.

“Tom Schweich was a lifelong public servant for our state and country,” said Koster, Missouri attorney general, in a written statement. “I am deeply saddened by his sudden loss, and extend my heartfelt sympathy to his family. I ask all Missourians to keep his family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Schweich was a well-respected politician on both sides of the aisle.

“Tom Schweich was a devoted public servant that I feel fortunate to have gotten to know as a friend and colleague over the past few years,” said Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander in a statement. “Whether he was serving as our State Auditor, the U.S. Coordinator for Counternarcotics and Justice Reform in Afghanistan, or working at the State Department, Tom always fought tirelessly for the people he was serving. Anyone who had a conversation with Tom knew how dedicated he was to his service. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Kathy and his children Emilie and Thomas, Jr.”

The Missouri House expected to hold a prayer for Schweich Thursday afternoon.

“I am in utter shock at the news of Tom Schweich’s tragic passing,” said Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock in a statement. “Tom will be remembered as a tenacious, energetic, effective elected official who worked tirelessly on behalf of the citizens of this state and this nation. I ask all Missourians to join me in praying for Tom’s family.”

PoliticMO earlier in the week reported that Hancock had a history of bad blood with Schweich.

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