On Tuesday night, September 7, 10 days after resigning his candidacy for the House of Representatives, Kyle Van De Water, a Dutchess County attorney and Army veteran, was found dead under strange circumstances, according to Fox News and various media reports.
Van De Water, a 41-year-old father of four, was found dead by police officers at the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery in New York.
Although no official cause of death has been announced, police are investigating the death as a probable suicide, reports Mid Hudson News.
In late August, the Army veteran had announced that he no longer planned to run a second time for the 19th Congressional District seat in New York. He won the Republican primary in 2020 before losing to incumbent Democratic Rep. Antonio Delgado in the general election.
At the time, he said on Twitter: “I have been truly humbled by and will be forever grateful for all of the support I have received these past few years. It has been an honor getting to meet so many of you as I traveled across the district”.
“Unfortunately, circumstances in my life have changed and I am no longer able to give 110% towards this endeavor”.
“For the good of the party, and the district, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy. I look forward to vigorously and enthusiastically supporting the GOP candidate in 2022”.
The war veteran joined the U.S. Army in 2006 and received a Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan.
He also earned the Meritorious Service Medal before receiving an honorable discharge in 2014.
The tributes came after news of the veteran’s death emerged.
‘He lost a hero’
His former political rival, Rep. Delgado, said in a statement that his “heart breaks for Kyle, and his beautiful family.
“We shared a number of conversations about family and country, and I walked away from each one knowing that he had a profound love for both,” Delgado said.
He didn’t mention a cause of death but shared the number of a Veterans Crisis Line.
“Kyle’s death is tragically felt not only an individual level, but also nationally, as far too many veterans across our country are going without the support and care that their service to our great land undoubtedly necessitates,” Delgado stated.
“We can and must do better. May God rest Kyle’s soul And may God bless his family.”
For its part, the New York Republican Party wrote: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Kyle’s untimely passing. He was an American hero and soldier whose selfless service in the Army will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time”.
Van De Water was born in Rhinebeck and raised in Poughkeepsie, according to his website biography. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Law School at Amherst and Albany before active duty in the Army.
The candidate said in July that he planned to run again for a House seat in 2022, according to The Poughkeepsie Journal, but—as mentioned above—on Aug. 27, he posted on social media that he was terminating his candidacy.
Several users have echoed the tragic news on social networks, and many agree on how strange and unexpected his death has been.