April Freeman, 54, who worked as a writer and producer in the
film industry, died of an apparent heart attack, local media
quoted her husband as saying.
She had been due to face Republican state Senator Greg Steube in
the Nov. 6 elections to succeed Tom Rooney, a Republican who
decided not to seek a sixth term in Congress. State law allows
party officials five days to convene a meeting to name a
Political analysts view the central Florida district as solidly
Republican, meaning it is unlikely to be a factor in Democrats'
attempt to win the 23 House seats they need to take a majority
in that chamber and act as a check on Republican President
Donald Trump's agenda.
"We are incredibly saddened by the sudden death of April
Freeman," Florida Democratic Chair Terrie Rizzo said in a
statement on Monday. "Just last night she was in the office,
making calls and working to get out the vote."
The cause of death appeared to be a heart attack, although that
was not certain, the Herald-Tribune newspaper of Sarasota quoted
Freeman's husband, David Freeman, as saying.
He could not be reached for immediate comment.
April Freeman's political campaign had focused on promoting
equal pay for women and protecting the environment.
She also wrote a children's book and was working on a self-help
book as well as a political guide for women, according to her
She won a nominating contest earlier this year to secure a place
on the ballot in November. Freeman previously ran unsuccessfully
for the seat.
(Reporting by Ginger Gibson in Washington; Editing by Scott
Malone and Peter Cooney)
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