Family, friends and other lawmakers are stunned by the sudden death of State Rep. Ezequiel Santiago at the age of 45.
"We are stunned and saddened at the loss of our friend and colleague," said Speaker of the House Rep. Joe Aresimowicz and House Majority Leader Rep. Matt Ritter. "Ezequiel Santiago was a giant of our caucus and the entire Legislature. His commitment to the people of Bridgeport was legendary."
Santiago, who died from a heart attack early Friday, March 15, served in the State General Assembly for more than a decade.
As a member of the House Democrat's leadership, he was universally respected for being was universally respected for his knowledge of the issues and his quiet, even-handed leadership of the Banks Committee, the representatives said in a statement.
One of his key efforts was to bring a casino and entertainment center to Bridgeport.
Mayor Joe Ganim said his sympathies go out to Ezequiel's family: "He was a dear man who will be missed by all who knew him. All of us in Bridgeport and across the state will feel the loss of his passing,”
Ganim is inviting all city employees, state and community leaders to join him for a moment of silence at 4 p.m. Friday, in the lobby at Margaret Morton Government Center, to honor Santiago.
The mayor said Santiago had a passion for the City of Bridgeport and its residents that led him to be involved in various positions in government and community.
Santiago served as City Councilman for the 131st District and most recently was the State Representative of the 130th District for more than ten years.
Before that, he was an employee of the city of Bridgeport that was dedicated to working with youth members in the Conservation Corps, Ganim said.
Santiago grew up the son of well-known Democrat Americo Santiago, and the step-son of Democrat Mitch Robles,
"Our hearts are broken," said his Assembly colleagues. "We will miss his strong, quiet leadership. We will miss his friendship."
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