Afghanistan war veteran Kyle Van De Water, 41, who ran last year for a U.S. House seat that represents part of the mid-Hudson Valley region of New York, was found dead in Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, MidHudsonNews.com reported.
Sources told the publication his death was under investigation as a “likely suicide.”
Van De Water had run as a Republican last year in an unsuccessful bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado and he had briefly thrown his hat in the ring for a second congressional run, reports said.
Delgado said in a statement that his “heart breaks for Kyle, and his beautiful family.
“We shared a number of conversations about family and country, and I walked away from each one knowing that he had a profound love for both,” Delgado said.
He didn’t mention a cause of death but shared the number of a Veterans Crisis Line.
“Kyle’s death is tragically felt not only an individual level, but also nationally, as far too many veterans across our country are going without the support and care that their service to our great land undoubtedly necessitates,” Delgado stated.
“We can and must do better. May God rest Kyle’s soul And may God bless his family.”
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said on Twitter that his prayers were with the Army veteran’s family as they try to come to grips with this tragedy.
“Kyle was a war hero who put his life and well-being on the line for his country,” said Molinaro, who ran for governor on the GOP line in 2018. “We owe him, his family, and all of our brave service men and women everything for the sacrifices they have made.”
Van De Water was born in Rhinebeck and raised in Poughkeepsie, according to the bio on his website. He graduated the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Albany Law School, before active duty in the Army, the bio stated.
The candidate said in July he planned to run for a House seat again in 2022, according to The Poughkeepsie Journal, but he posted to social media on Aug. 27 saying he was ending his candidacy.
“I have been truly humbled by and will be forever grateful for all of the support I have received these past few years,” Van De Water wrote on Aug. 27.
“It has been an honor getting to meet so many of you as I traveled across the district. Unfortunately, circumstances in my life have changed and I am no longer able to give 110% towards this endeavor.”
“For the good of the party, and the district, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy,” he said. “I look forward to vigorously and enthusiastically supporting the GOP candidate in 2022.”
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis, call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.