(Washington Examiner) – A local lawmaker in Washington has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen, a Republican opponent to some of the government responses to COVID-19, has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

“We are heartbroken to share that our husband and father passed away on Friday, Dec. 17. Please keep our family in your prayers, and thank you for continuing to respect our privacy in this extremely difficult time,” Ericksen’s family said in a statement on Saturday.

Ericksen stated in November that he had tested positive for COVID-19 while on a trip to El Salvador, reports the Seattle Times. However, his cause of death has not been confirmed.

Ericksen, 52, had asked for assistance from fellow Republicans to get monoclonal antibody treatments. On Dec. 13, Ericksen arranged a medevac flight to a Florida hospital, reports the Bellingham Herald. It is uncertain if the state lawmaker was in Washington or Florida when he died.

Ericksen regularly fought Washington Gov. Jay Inslee over COVID-related mandates and orders. Ericksen introduced legislation that he claimed would protect the rights of the unvaccinated and regularly demanded that Inslee resign, reports the Seattle Times.

“It’s just heartbreaking news; what do you do, other than you feel for them, you pray for them,” said state Senate Minority Leader John Braun in response to Ericksen’s death.

Ericksen was one of the longest-serving Republicans in Washington. He served in the state House from 1998 to 2010, when he ran to become a state senator.

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