"He was one of those people that was obnoxiously good at everything," a statement from the congresswoman's chief of staff read
Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola's husband has died following a plane crash, the Democrat's office announced in a statement issued Wednesday morning.
"We are devastated to share that Mary's husband, Eugene Peltola Jr. — 'Buzzy' to all of us who knew and loved him — passed away earlier this morning following a plane accident in Alaska," Peltola's chief of staff, Anton McParland, said in the statement.
"He was one of those people that was obnoxiously good at everything," the statement continued. "He had a delightful sense of humor that lightened the darkest moments. He was definitely the cook in the family. And family was most important to him."
McParland also added that he was "completely devoted to his parents, kids, siblings, extended family, and friends — and he simply adored Mary," adding, "We are heartbroken for the family's loss."
According to the statement, Rep. Peltola is now "returning home to be with their family," with the statement asking for privacy and adding: "Our team will continue to meet with constituents and carry on the work of the office while Mary and her family grieve."
Reuters reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that Peltola's plane crashed shortly after takeoff near St. Mary's, Alaska on Tuesday, around 8:45 p.m. local time, and that he was piloting the plane and was the only one on board.
Peltola made headlines when she won a crowded Alaska House race in 2022, securing her first full term in Congress.
Prior to her electoral win, Peltola pulled off an upset win in Alaska's special House election, defeating a pool of Republicans that included former Alaska governor and onetime vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and Nick Begich III, the grandson of former Alaska Rep. Nick Begich Sr.
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In a rematch, the Democrat defended her seat, solidifying her place in a state that traditionally favors Republicans.
Peltola is Yup'ik, making her the first Alaska Native in Congress.
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