Wyoming state Rep Roy Edwards dies of undisclosed illness
GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming state Rep. Roy Edwards of Gillette died of an undisclosed illness a day before the general election, a fellow lawmaker said.
Edwards, a Republican, was running unopposed for a fourth, two-year term. He was 66. The Campbell County Republican Party precinct committee will select three people who are qualified to fill the vacancy and the county commission will pick one of the three to serve in the state House.
Another Gillette Republican, Rep. Scott Clem, notified fellow lawmakers that Edwards died Monday. Edwards is survived by his wife Glenda and three children.
Edwards had been taken to the hospital on Oct. 23. The next day, Glenda Edwards said he was doing well, but she wouldn’t say what illness caused him to be hospitalized, the Gillette News Record reported.
“So sorry to hear the news of Representative Edwards’ passing,” House Speaker Steve Harshman, R-Casper said in a statement. “Representative Edwards was a good man, and we all appreciate his service to our state. We will all miss him.”
Edwards was first elected to the Legislature in 2014. He was one of four Campbell County legislators who signed a contract going into the 2021 session saying they would promote conservative policies including no tax increases, supporting efforts to make Wyoming a Second Amendment “sanctuary state,” and legislation restricting the government from quarantining healthy people or forcing people to be vaccinated.
Edwards had also been a sharp critic of Gov. Mark Gordon’s public health orders as well as the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Sept. 10, he cited an unfounded conspiracy theory that the pandemic was politically motivated and would end “after the election,” the Casper Star-Tribune report.
Gordon has ordered state flags to be flown at half staff at the Capitol in Cheyenne and in Campbell County in Edwards’ honor until sundown on the day of his burial. Funeral plans are pending.