Alvin Wiederspahn, a former state legislator and the husband of Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis, R-Wyo., died Friday at the age of 65, according to a statement from the lawmaker on Saturday.
“Last night, my husband, Al, passed away peacefully in his sleep in our home in Cheyenne," Lummis said. "Annaliese and I know that God has taken Al home to heaven, but right now our hearts are broken.” Wiederspahn and Lummis met and fell in love while serving in the Wyoming state House. They crossed party lines: She is a Republican and he was a Democrat. They were married in 1983 and had one daughter, Annaliese, a college graduate now working on her mother's bid for a fourth term in Congress, according to Lummis' campaign website.
The Associated Press reported that in addition to his 10 years of service in the state House and Senate, Wiederspahn was a "lawyer, rancher and a historic preservationist" who contributed to major renovation projects in downtown Cheyenne as the founder and former chairman of the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority.
With her husband's death, Lummis is the second candidate for the Republican Study Committee chairmanship who has unexpectedly lost a spouse. A former competitor for the position, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., dropped out of the race last month after his wife suffered a fatal heart attack in late August.
Lummis did not immediately say whether she would continue to vie for the position for the 114th Congress.