Police found former state Sen. Jonathan Nichols in his home in Norman, 20 miles south of Oklahoma City, after receiving a report of someone shot. Police said the case is under investigation.
Nichols, 53, served in the Oklahoma Senate from 2000 to 2012. He later took staff positions in the state House, Senate and the University of Oklahoma. No one has been arrested or named a suspect in Nichols death.
State Sen. Rob Standridge, a Republican who represents Nichols old district, called him "the most brilliant political, legal mind in the Oklahoma State Legislature" who "worked tirelessly as a senator and for years on staff to help guide our state forward," in a statement.
Nichols is the second former GOP state lawmaker to be found dead this week. On Tuesday, former Arkansas state Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, 57, was reportedly found dead outside her home in Pocahontas, about 130 miles northeast of the state capital, Little Rock.
Her former press secretary told local news media the Democrat-turned-Republican was found shot to death and wrapped in a blanket. Police are investigating the death as a homicide.
Collins-Smith represented the 19th district in Arkansas from 2014 until 2019. She lost her party's primary last year.