Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr, the wife of Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), has died suddenly at the age of 39.
The cause of death hasn’t been released and it’s not clear whether the couple’s two daughters were there when Barr died.
Rep. Barr, 49, married his wife in 2008.
“Congressman Andy Barr’s wife Carol passed away suddenly tonight at the family home in Lexington,” Mary Rosado, Barr’s chief of staff, said in a statement to news outlets.
“During this tragic time, we respectfully ask for privacy for Congressman Barr and his family to grieve Mrs. Barr being called home to heaven.”
The congressman may release a more detailed statement in the future but is currently focused on being a father to his daughters, the staffer said.
Happy Mother’s Day from our family to yours. Today, I’m celebrating my wife Carol, and I hope you’ll join me in celebrating all the amazing moms across KY06. pic.twitter.com/pS9S8xcSwW
— Andy Barr (@barrforcongress) May 10, 2020
Barr was the executive director of the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, a nonprofit that seeks to inspire cooperative national political dialogue.
The center in a statement said Barr “was beloved for her kindness, elegance, and compassion.”
“Anyone who had the privilege of meeting Carol immediately experienced the glow of her warmth and hospitality, which were indicative of how she served her community and loved her family,” it added.
Elected officials shared tributes to Barr and condolences to her husband.
“Elaine and I are stunned and heartbroken by Carol Barr’s passing. Her warmth filled whatever room she entered. Her contributions made Kentucky a better place for all of us. We send our sincere condolences to Andy, their girls, and their family at this terribly painful time,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he and his wife were heartbroken and praying for the Barr family.
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Barr “was always a joy to be around,” adding, “She had a smile that lit up every room, radiating with the love she had for her family and our state.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wrote in a statement: “Our hearts are heavy tonight. Kelley and I offer our deepest condolences to Rep. Andy Barr, his two daughters, family, and friends. Please join us in praying for them during this incredibly difficult time.”
Josh Hicks, a Democrat challenging Barr for his seat, said he is praying for his opponent and the family.
“This is an unimaginable loss. While we may disagree politically, we’re both family men and I can’t fathom the pain he must be experiencing right now,” he said.
Barr represents Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District. He has been in Congress since 2013 after being a lawyer.