Michigan State Rep. John Kivela, Marquette Democrat, dies from apparent suicide at 47

May 16, 2017: Michigan State Rep. John Kivela, Marquette Democrat, was found dead on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, from an apparent suicide at a Lansing, Mich., home that he owned, hours after he was released from jail after a Monday, May 8, 2017, arrest for suspected drunk driving. A Lansing police crime scene investigation unit was outside a Chestnut Street home that records show is owned by John Kivela, 47, a Democrat from Marquette. Kivela's official manner of death was not released by police officials. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder praised Kivela and said he was praying for the late legislator’s family. "It's a very sad day," Snyder said. "He had a number of issues in his life and apparently he took his own life." Kivela, a former Mayor of Marquette, was remembered as a legislator who invited members of all political parties to his house in Lansing to enjoy a meal. He enjoyed acting as a tour guide when colleagues would travel to Marquette. State House Minority Leader Sam Singh, East Lansing Democrat, said his thoughts and prayers were with Kivela's wife and two children, Shelby and Andrew, both in their twenties. “He was a champion for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a strong advocate for working people throughout Michigan," Singh said. "He was my friend, and I will miss him." "He was a good friend. John just wanted to bring everyone together," said Michigan State Rep. Andy Schor, Lansing Democrat. "He was going through stuff and we knew it and we thought he was doing okay. You never know what the person next to you, what's going on in their life. We just have to start talking to each other more."

Attribution: The Detroit Free Press, The Lansing State Journal

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