Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan dies at 66

Former Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 GOP braces for Democratic spending onslaught in battle for Senate Democrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump MORE (D-N.C.) died Monday at the age of 66, her family confirmed to The Charlotte Observer.

“We are heartbroken to share that Kay left us unexpectedly this morning,” the family said in the statement.

“Kay meant everything to us, and we were honored to share her with the people of North Carolina whom she cared for and fought for so passionately as an elected official. Most of all, we already miss her humor and spirit as the hub of our family, a role she loved more than anything. Nobody could light up a room and make people feel welcome like Kay,” they added.

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Hagan, who served in the North Caroline Senate for a decade, defeated Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) in 2008, becoming the first female senator to unseat an incumbent female senator.

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada Top GOP super PAC spent money on NC Democrat The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate MORE (R) unseated Hagan in 2014. National Democrats pushed for her to challenge Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrTrump's new intel chief makes immediate changes, ousts top official Intel officials warned House lawmakers Russia is interfering to get Trump reelected: NYT Pelosi joins pressure campaign on Huawei MORE (R-N.C.) in 2016 but she decided against a run.

Hagan’s family did not identify a cause of death, but Hagan was diagnosed with Powassan virus, a form of encephalitis that kills in about 10 percent of cases, in 2016.

“We are deeply grateful for the support shared with our family as Kay worked to regain her strength these last few years after her illness, and we appreciate your continued prayers,” Hagan’s family said.

“My heart goes out to Chip Hagan and the entire Hagan family in the passing of Kay. Sen. Hagan was dedicated to serving North Carolinians and especially to the men and women of the Armed Forces in America’s most military-friendly state," Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerTop GOP super PAC spent money on NC Democrat House passes bipartisan bill to create women's history museum NCAA and its allies spent 0K on lobbying last year amid push for athlete pay MORE (R-N.C.) said in a statement. 

"Chip has exemplified the devotion, love and care that every husband should aspire to," Walker added.