(DENVER) — The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has released a statement regarding the sudden passing of Colorado House Minority Leader, Hugh McKean, and plans to fill his vacancy.

House Minority Leader Hugh McKean speaks during a news conference outside the Governor’s mansion Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in Denver. Leaders from both the Democratic and Republican parties outlined the plan to spend $700 million over the next 18 months on job-creating transportation programs, sustaining a multibillion dollar agriculture industry and delivering critical aid to small businesses hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus over the past year. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Representative McKean died suddenly Sunday morning at his home.

“I offer my heartfelt condolences to Representative McKean’s family, loved ones, and the many who considered him a friend,” said Secretary of State Jena Griswold. “Representative McKean was a dedicated public servant whose service to Colorado will be remembered for generations to come.”

Representative and Minority Leader McKean’s term was to expire on January 8, 2023, with the start of the new legislative session, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. After consulting with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, McKean’s seat will be filled by a vacancy committee established by the Larimer County Republican Party.

The Secretary of State’s Office cited Colorado’s stature, which states:

In the event of a vacancy in the general assembly caused by the death or resignation of a member who has been sworn into office, caused by the death or resignation of a member who has been elected to a seat but who has not yet been sworn into office, or caused by a person not taking the oath of office as provided in paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section, the vacancy shall be filled by the appropriate vacancy committee, if any, as provided in section 1-3-103 (1)(d), of the same political party and of the same representative or senatorial district represented by the former member whose seat is vacant.”

Colorado stature 1-12-203(1)

Representative McKean was running unopposed to retain his seat in House District 51 for the legislative session beginning on January 9, 2023, per the Secretary of State’s Office. Votes for the late Representative will be counted in accordance with 1-4-1006(2) C.R.S:

A vacancy occurring from the day after the earliest day to mail general election ballots through general election day must be filled in accordance with part 2 of article 12 of this code

1-4-1006(2) C.R.S

As a result, Representative McKean will be considered a member-elect.

If the vacancy is caused by the death of a member-elect of the general assembly who has been elected to office but who has not yet been sworn in, the vacancy committee shall meet no more than thirty days after the death of the general assembly member-elect to fill the vacancy

Colorado stature 1-12-203(5)