Rep. Mary Peltola’s (D-Alaska) office confirmed on Thursday that her husband, Eugene Peltola, died in a plane accident on Wednesday.
In a statement from her spokesman Anton McParland, she stated Mr. Peltola died in a plane accident in Alaska, although few details have been provided. It’s not clear where the plane crashed, what caused it, or if Mr. Peltola was the pilot.
“We are devastated to share that Mary’s husband, Eugene Peltola Jr.—’Buzzy’ to all of us who knew and loved him—passed away earlier this morning following a plane accident in Alaska,” her spokesman said.
Mr. Peltola had been the former regional director for the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs in Alaska. Before that, he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska for decades and also previously served about a decade ago as the vice mayor and a council member for the city of Bethel, Alaska.
The congresswoman’s office continued to say that he was “good at everything” and “had a delightful sense of humor that lightened the darkest moments.”
“He was definitely the cook in the family. And family was most important to him. He was completely devoted to his parents, kids, siblings, extended family, and friends—and he simply adored Mary,” the spokesman for her office stated. “We are heartbroken for the family’s loss.”
— Rep. Mary Peltola (@Rep_Peltola) September 13, 2023
Mrs. Peltola, who was elected last year, is now returning to her Alaska home, according to her office. The statement called on the public to respect her and her family’s privacy.
“Our team will continue to meet with constituents and carry on the work of the office while Mary and her family grieve,” said the statement, which was posted on X, or Twitter.
A number of lawmakers shared their condolences moments after the statement was issued Wednesday.
“I am so terribly sorry, [Rep. Peltola]. Our hearts are with you and your family today,” wrote Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) on X. “You and your family are in my prayers,” added Rep. John James (R-Mich.).
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Wednesday, too, expressed her condolences after her husband’s death.
“I am shocked, saddened and truly beyond words to express my grief at the loss of Gene Peltola Jr.,” the Republican senator said. “Anyone who met Buzzy felt his warmth, generosity and charm. It was easy to see why so many Alaskans called him a friend, and how he was so loved by his family.”
Last year, Mrs. Peltola defeated former Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican, in the November election. However, critics expressed alarm over her victory, saying that it was, in part, due to Alaska’s controversial ranked-choice voting system.
From The Epoch Times