Albuquerque City Councilor Ken Sanchez dies at 63

January 2, 2020 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Ken Sanchez, a four-term member of the Albuquerque City Council, has died at 63.

His cause of death wasn’t released, but Mayor Tim Keller said Sanchez hadn’t returned to his council duties since having a”medical emergency in November.

The mayor and members of Sanchez’s family gathered Wednesday to announce his death.

“Councilor Sanchez is a legendary public servant in our community,” the mayor said, recalling his “dedication to his district, his tireless efforts to build the westside and, often as council president, his steadfast leadership, putting policy before partisanship and people before politics.”

Sanchez had been a councilor since 2005, serving as council president three times during that span. He also served eight yeas as a Bernalillo County commissioner.

Officials said memorial services for Sanchez will be announced this week.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered flags around the state to fly at half-staff through sundown Friday.

Having worked with him during her tenure as a county commissioner, she described him as a problem-solver and a fierce advocate for his district who always pushed for more public safety resources, road improvements and senior centers.

“We should all aspire to champion our neighbors’ causes and best interests with the same passion as Ken,” the governor said.