Editor’s note: This story corrects the age of Don Manning when he passed away.
NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio House Representative Don Manning died Friday at the age of 52.
Speaker Larry Householder released a statement on Twitter at 12:32 a.m. Saturday, saying: “The Mahoning Valley and the State of Ohio lost one of their biggest fans and advocates yesterday. RIP Don”
Speaker Householder also attached the following memo:
It is with a heavy heart that I regret to inform you that one of our fellow members has passed away. Representative Don Manning was a good legislator. Don loved the Mahoning Valley and his work in the legislature.
Representative Manning was experiencing chest pains yesterday afternoon. He was taken to a local hospital and passed from us yesterday.
When details are provided regarding services I will make certain to provide that information.
Please be safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones during these difficult times.”
64th district State Representative Michael O’Brien says the Valley lost a good heart.
According to Dr. Amy Acton Saturday afternoon, Manning died of an apparent heart attack.
Manning, a Republican, represented Ohio House District 59. He was elected in 2018 for the seat previously held by Democrat John Boccieri.
He was also a U.S. Navy Veteran and he leaves behind two sons.
O’Brien says he’ll miss the long talks after meetings with Manning.
“Sure, he was a State Representative, and he was a counselor, but he was a father and he was a son and he was an uncle and he was neighbor,” O’Brien said.
State Senator Sean O’Brien says he’s in shock after hearing the news. He’d gotten to know Manning very well over the past two years.
O’Brien says, party lines aside, Manning was someone who loved the Valley.
“He really loved what he did and you could see it in the work that he did. So it’s pretty sad and shocking as I said, but he was a good legislator and a good friend,” O’Brien said.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine released the following statement:
“Fran and I are saddened to hear of the death of State Representative Don Manning.
Don was a tireless advocate for advancing issues important to the Mahoning Valley while in Columbus, including advocacy on behalf of Lordstown workers and economic development in the area. It was my privilege in December to sign his first bill, House Bill 12, which created the Ohio Children’s Behavioral Health Prevention Network Stakeholder Group.
Don was a Navy veteran, and our state and our nation are both better for his service. Fran and I extend our sincerest condolences to Don’s children and family during this most difficult time.”
DeWine also began Saturday’s Covid-19 update by paying his respects to Manning.
“He worked with us in getting information out to his constituents. He would email me or text me with ideas. He would do the same thing for Dr. Acton, his fellow Mahoning Valley native,” DeWine said at the briefing.
The Mahoning County Republican Party released the following statement:
“We are shocked and heartbroken over the loss of our friend and tireless advocate, State Representative Don Manning. Don loved serving the Mahoning Valley in Columbus and will be remembered for his passion for public service and endless optimism for the future of our community.
We plan at some point to fulfill his positive vision for the Mahoning Valley. While we know that there are questions from the press regarding the vacancy on the ballot, we respectfully ask that we pause in this moment of tragedy and uncertainty and remember the life of State Representative Don manning.”
The Republican Caucus will meet sometime next week to discuss a replacement representative for the 59th district.