On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that incoming New Hampshire Republican House Speaker Dick Hinch was found dead in his home, at the age of 71 — just after being elected to preside over the chamber.
"Hinch, of Merrimack, was starting his seventh two-year term in the state House," said the report. "He previously served as majority leader for the 2016-17 session and as minority leader when Democrats were in control the last two years. His death was announced by his office, which did not give any details of what it called 'this unexpected tragedy.'"
Republicans won back control of the chamber this year, poising Hinch to take the top position.
The cause of his death has not been reported. However, according to colleagues, he had COVID-19-like symptoms in recent days — but told lawmakers that his illness was not COVID-19.