The office of Rep. Andy Harris announced on Thursday the unexpected death of the Maryland Republican's wife.
"Sylvia 'Cookie' Harris, beloved wife of over 30 years to Congressman Andy Harris, devoted mother of five and grandmother to two, and devout Catholic, unexpectedly passed away on Thursday, August 28," the statement said. "The family is thankful for the thoughts and prayers that so many have offered already and appreciates privacy during this time."
WBAL-TV reported that Cookie Harris, a well-known figure in the state capital of Annapolis, died after a heart attack. Before Andy Harris was elected to the House in 2010, the politician served in the Maryland Senate for more than a decade, include a tenure as Republican whip. "'Cookie' had a visible presence in Annapolis advocating on the issues she was so passionate about. All of the Senators had a wonderful relationship with her because of her political views and her never-tiring activism," the state Senate GOP caucus said in a statement reported by WBAL. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Harris and the family."
Cookie Harris had long been active in the Maryland Right to Life organization's outreach efforts.
"It is with heavy hearts we must say our dear friend and coworker Cookie Harris has passed away today. She served as the Director of Special Events, working intimately to put together a successful annual banquet, biannual convention, and MDRTL's participation in the Maryland State Fair, which continues through Labor Day. She will be missed," the group said on Facebook.