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Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:16 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:16:39 GMT
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Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:06 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:06:40 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- Mike Haydon, Governor Steve Beshear's chief of staff, died suddenly and unexpectedly Sunday, the governor's office confirms to WDRB News.
Haydon, who had worked in politics more than 30 years, had also served in various positions in Frankfort as both the chief of staff for lawmaker Rep. Rocky Adkins, D - Sandy Hook, and in varying roles for previous governors.
Governor Beshear released the following statement:
"Jane and I are shocked and devastated by the sudden death of my chief of staff and good friend, Mike Haydon.
Mike's deep experience in state and local government and his vast knowledge of the issues that really matter to the people of this state made him an invaluable leader in our administration and a strong advocate for local governments. Jane and I will always be grateful for his dedication, counsel, knowledge and sense of humor. We have not only lost a man who dedicated his life to improving the future for Kentuckians; we have also lost one of our best friends.
But the pain of our loss pales in comparison to that of his wife, Lisa, and their three children, Blair, Kate and Ben, as well as the many members of his extended family. Mike was a dedicated husband and father, and he was never happier than when he was with his family.
We grieve with them now, and are praying for them."
Other politicians expressed sadness by the loss in posts on both Facebook and Twitter.
Rep. Jeff Hoover, R - Jamestown, wrote on Twitter: "So sad about passing of my friend Mike Haydon. In politics, you sometimes make friends that transcend political arena Mike was one of those."
Rep. Jim Wayne, D- Louisville, after being informed of the loss by the reporter, said it was "tragic news."
University of Louisville President James Ramsey, who served as the state budget director under former Gov. Paul Patton, released a statement late Sunday afternoon:
"I'm shocked to hear about the death of my long time friend Mike Haydon. Mike was a respected public servant who used all of his energy to make Kentucky a better place for all. The thoughts and prayers of all of us in the University of Louisville family go out to Mike's wife Lisa and his entire family."