There's sad news from Beacon Hill as officials have announced the passing of State Representative Peter Kocot.
The death of Rep. Peter Kocot was announced Thursday in an email sent by House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
DeLeo said Kocot, 61, died Thursday morning, but didn't offer details on the cause of death.
"Chairman Kocot was one of the most kind, decent, and selfless individuals that I have had the pleasure to know. Our prayers are with Peter’s wife, Shauneen, his children, extended family, and his staff," DeLeo wrote.
Kocot represented the 1st Hampshire district, which consists of Hatfield, Northampton, Southampton, and Westhampton in Hampshire County and Montgomery in Hampden County. He was first elected to the House in a 2002 special election.
Kocot served on the House Committee on Ethics and chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito issued a joint statement that read:
"Rep. Peter Kocot was tirelessly commited to representing the constituents and issues of his district and all of Massachusetts. Our administration was proud to work with Rep. Kocot on many important topics and his thoughtful approach to service will be missed. Our thoughts are with his wife and his sons."
Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz added in part:
"Representative Kocot was a man of immense conviction, compassion, and intellect who cared deeply about the people and communities he served and the everyday issues affecting their lives. He was a champion for social and economic justice who worked tirelessly and with great humility to better our city, his district, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
Congressman Jim McGovern expressed his condolences to Kocot's family and staff and added in a statement:
"Peter was a great public servant with a big heart. He fought hard for what he believed in, and always listened carefully to the communities that sent him to Beacon Hill. Massachusetts is a better place because of his thoughtful, principled leadership on issues like voter registration and public records reform. And he was an unwavering voice for the most vulnerable in our communities. To Peter, everyone was important and no one was invisible."
Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.
Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. All rights reserved.