Kansas lawmaker found dead in Topeka hotel room

Photo Courtesy: www.kslegislature.org

TOPEKA, KAN. (KSNT) – Representative Patsy Terrell, a Democrat from Hutchinson was found dead in her hotel room Wednesday.

According to House Majority Leader Don Hineman, lawmakers at the Statehouse held a moment of silence when they learned of Terrell’s passing.

Another moment of silence was held at the Statehouse for Terrell Thursday afternoon.

Terrell was in her first year as a representative and fellow lawmakers said she already made a huge difference in the state of Kansas.

“She was creative, she was kind, she was generous,” said Rep. Jim Ward, D-Lawrence, “and Tuesday night I saw her at 11:30, after the vote and she was so happy because she was part of something historic. Last night was her happiest day.”

Lawmakers from the opposing side said she was the type of person who got along with everyone.

“We enjoyed talking about the issues which we frequently did because we agreed on so many of them even though we were from different political parties,” said Rep. Steven Becker, R-Buhler.

He said her impact in the Statehouse was certainly comparable to her impact in Hutchinson.

“Almost everyone at home knows her from that, said Becker. “Just all her activities within the community.”

Ward said she was a regular person working in Hutchinson who saw an opportunity to influence her state and she took it.

“And I think that will be her legacy,” said Ward. “One person can make a difference.”

A number of Topeka Police cars filled the Downtown Ramada parking lot just after 5 p.m. Wednesday evening. A police officer at the scene told KSNT News the death was due to natural causes.

Funeral plans have not been set yet for Terrell, but Ward says an announcement will be coming out soon.

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