GOP Pennsylvania House member Mike Reese dies

A state lawmaker who was elected to serve as the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus chairman in the 2020-21 session has died, the House GOP leader said Saturday.

Rep. Mike Reese, R-Westmoreland/Somerset, "died peacefully with his family by his side Saturday afternoon at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg following an apparent brain aneurysm," Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, the Majority Leader, said in a statement also posted on Reese's official House website and his Facebook page.

Reese was 42.

To honor Reese, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the state flag on all state and public buildings and grounds to fly at half-staff.

"I extend my heartfelt condolences on the passing of Representative Mike Reese," Wolf said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with Mike’s family, colleagues and constituents. Mike was a good man and a strong leader, and the people of western Pennsylvania have lost a dedicated advocate."

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Reese, first elected to the state House in 2008, served as the House GOP caucus secretary in the 2019-20 session.

"More than a friend to all of us, and one of our caucus leaders, Mike was a devoted husband and father," Benninghoff said, calling Reese "a model legislator who thoughtfully put his constituents first."

Reese said Dec. 7 he had recently learned that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been quarantining for the previous week after learning of his exposure to the virus.

Reese is survived by his wife, Angela and three children.