Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan dies at 66

Former Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's job approval erodes among groups that powered his 2016 victory 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 TillisOn The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP Chamber of Commerce endorses Ernst for reelection GOP under mounting pressure to strike virus deal quickly MORE (R) unseated Hagan in 2014. National Democrats pushed for her to challenge Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenate GOP opens door to smaller coronavirus deal as talks lag Hillicon Valley: Google extending remote work policy through July 2021 | Intel community returns final Russia report to Senate committee after declassification | Study finds election officials vulnerable to cyberattacks Intel community returns final Russia report volume to Senate after declassification review 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 WalkerPence confidant helps 24-year-old beat Trump-backed candidate Rubio to introduce bill allowing NCAA athletes to make money from name, likeness Democrats press OSHA official on issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard MORE (R-N.C.) said in a statement. 

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