Republican state lawmaker in Tennessee dies of pancreatic cancer

Sad news came out of the Heartland of America over the weekend.

According to the Washington Examiner, prominent Tennessee Republican Mike Carter died Sunday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 67.

Carter, who had served as a Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives since 2013, first revealed his cancer diagnosis in November. Doctors were said to have discovered the disease while the lawmaker was hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after a nasty bout of COVID-19 in August.

According to the Tennessean, Carter initially thought a decline in his health after battling through COVID-19 could be attributed to long-term side-effects of the virus, but doctors believe that his pancreatic cancer might have been the culprit.

Family breaks the news

On Sunday, those authorized to speak on behalf of the Carter family announced his passing on the Republican’s official Twitter account. “Mike lost his battle with Pancreatic Cancer late last night, surrounded by his family. We’ll miss him very much. We appreciate your prayers during this difficult time,” the tweet read.

Before entering the Tennessee legislature in 2013, Carter served as a Hamilton County general sessions judge from 1997 to 2005, according to the Examiner.

Prior to a career in politics, Carter reportedly earned a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University before going on to receive a degree in law from the University of Memphis.

Condolences and kind words

Messages received by Carter’s family make clear that the lawmaker had a tremendous impact on both his colleagues and friends. In Tennessee, tributes poured in from Republicans including state House Speaker Cameron Sexton.

In Washington, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) offered his own heartfelt tribute. “Mike was an outstanding judge, great state representative, and a tremendous leader in the community,” Fleischmann wrote in a series of tweets. “I enjoyed working with him over the years and I will greatly miss his friendship. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike’s family during this difficult time.”

Carter even received kind words from Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN), along with Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R), who remembered Carter as an “excellent public servant and a great man,” according to the Tennessean.

According to the Associated Press, funeral arrangements for the state lawmaker are incomplete.

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