The husband of Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska has died in a plane crash in the state, according to a press release issued by her office.
Eugene “Buzzy” Pelolta Jr. was the Alaska Director of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs and the third husband of Mary Peltola, who was elected to Congress in 2022. He died in a plane crash on Wednesday morning, according to a press release from Peltola’s office. (RELATED: Sarah Palin Loses Alaska House Election To Dem Challenger Mary Peltola)
“Buzzy, to all of us who knew and loved him — passed away earlier this morning following a plane accident in Alaska,” wrote Anton McParland, Mary Peltola’s chief of staff, according to a statement shared by Peltola’s official account on Twitter, now known as X. He also confirmed that the congresswoman would return to Alaska to join her family.
— Rep. Mary Peltola (@Rep_Peltola) September 13, 2023
It was unclear whether Eugene Peltola was the pilot of the aircraft that crashed, and the circumstances of the accident have not been publicly reported.
“I am shocked, saddened and truly beyond words to express my grief at the loss of Gene Peltola Jr. Anyone who met Buzzy felt his warmth, generosity and charm,” wrote Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska on Twitter. “It was easy to see why so many Alaskans called him a friend, and how he was so loved by his family.”
Several of Peltola’s congressional colleagues also posted condolence messages on Twitter, including Reps. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, John James of Michigan, Byron Donalds of Florida and Troy Nehls of Texas.
Mary Peltola represents the whole of Alaska, comprising its at-large congressional district, in the House of Representatives. Being the largest state in the country and with harsh arctic terrain, officials often travel by light aircraft across the state.
One of Mary Peltola’s predecessors, Democratic Rep. Nick Begich of Alaska, died in a plane crash in the state in 1972.
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