A grieving husband, who unexpectedly lost the love of his life to a medical condition, is receiving expressions of condolences from different ends of the political spectrum.
Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) has received sympathy from thousands of colleagues, friends, and complete strangers following the sudden death of his wife, Carol.
The Fayette County coroner’s office confirmed the 39-year-old executive director of the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship died on June 16, at home in Lexington, Kentucky.
A preliminary autopsy report obtained by The Associated Press shows her death was likely caused by a natural condition known as mitral valve prolapse, which means two of the heart valve flaps fail to close evenly and instead bulge upward into the organ’s left atrium.
“At this time of tremendous grief and pain, we ask for prayers for our beautiful, dear and precious Carol, the greatest, most selfless and giving wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend anyone could ever have,” Barr said in a statement. “We also ask for love and prayers for Carol’s greatest legacy—her loving and devoted daughters Eleanor and Mary Clay—through whom Carol’s extraordinary life, high character, and irrepressible spirit will continue.”
Several Republicans responded to their colleague’s request for best wishes and expressed sympathy to the surviving family members, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“Elaine and I are stunned and heartbroken by Carol Barr’s passing,” he said on Twitter. “Her warmth filled whatever room she entered, her contributions made Kentucky a better place for all of us. We send our sincere condolences to Andy, their girls, and their family at this terribly painful time.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) encouraged his supporters to also pray for the grieving family.
“Our hearts are heavy tonight,” he said on Twitter. “Kelley and I offer our deepest condolences to Rep. Andy Barr, his two daughters, family, and friends. Please join us in praying for them during this incredibly difficult time.”
Even the Democrats put party politics aside to express their condolences.
“Britainy and I are heartbroken for U.S. Rep. Andy Barr and his family tonight at the sad news of the unexpected passing of the congressman’s wife, Carol,” Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said on Twitter. “We are praying for the Barr family.”
“My heart goes out to Andy and his two daughters over the tragic loss of Carol,” former Democratic candidate for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District Amy McGrath said on Twitter. “They are in our prayers. While we were political competitors, we are Kentuckians first. I hope they feel the love of many and we wish him great strength during this very trying time.”
The two Barrs grew up in the Bluegrass State, both attended the University of Kentucky, and got married back in 2008. The congressman thanked everyone who showed solidarity during this “moment of profound grief and heartbreak.”
“We are so grateful for the gift and blessing of Carol’s life, for her strong faith,” Barr said. “[Thank you] for the comfort of fond memories and her victory in heaven and for all those who have surrounded Carol’s family, the girls and I with beautiful expressions of love, compassion, and sympathy.”