Pennsylvania Republicans are in mourning this week.
Michael G. Fitzpatrick, a former Republican congressman from the state, passed away on Monday at the age of 56, according to the Daily Caller.
Fitzpatrick was widely popular in the state and particularly in the district he represented. The Philadelphia suburb from which he hailed was far different from the makeup of the city itself, but there is still a liberal presence there.
The congressman was reportedly a master at working on both sides of the aisle, which is why he was able to win the seat for four terms.
The Daily Caller reported that during his time in Congress, Fitzpatrick “was instrumental on issues such as medical device safety, abortion, banking reform, and chaired a committee that passed legislation to address terrorism financing.”
His brother, Brian Fitzpatrick, has carried on the family tradition and now holds that very same seat.
Even with his popularity, though, Fitzpatrick was not immune from the blue wave in 2006. He lost his seat to Democrat Patrick Murphy in 2006, but then won it back again in 2010 and held it until 2017.
Fitzpatrick was an outspoken supporter of term limits and left the seat after a total of four terms due to his strong convictions on the subject.
Cancer strikes again
Fitzpatrick battled cancer for many years, finally succumbing to the disease at the age of 56. He was first diagnosed in 2008 with colon cancer, and thankfully, he went into remission in 2010, which coincided with his campaign to win back his seat.
Even though he retired due to his self-imposed term limits, he may have had to leave Congress anyway, as Fitzpatrick learned he had cancer once again during a screening in 2016. That battle continued right up until the day he died.
The outpouring of affection on social media was rather amazing, proving how much he was loved by his family, friends, and the local community he represented.
Fitzpatrick is survived by six children and his wife, Kathleen. Rest in peace, Mr. Fitzpatrick, and thank you for your service to our country.