U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is "stunned and heartbroken" after news broke Wednesday that the wife of Kentucky's Republican Rep. Andy Barr, Carol Leavell Barr, died suddenly the night before at the age of 39. McConnell issued a statement expressing his condolences and those of wife Elaine Chao praising Carol as a "wonderful role model" and "source of constant love."
"Elaine and I are stunned and heartbroken at the news of Carol’s passing," McConnell said. "Her warmth filled whatever room she entered and her contributions made Kentucky a better place for all of us. And to Eleanor and Mary Clay, Carol was a wonderful role model and source of constant love. We send our sincere condolences to Andy, their family and his staff at this terribly painful time."
The Republican Representative's wife died in their Lexington home, Barr's chief of staff Mary Rosado, said in a statement to local CBS affiliate WKYT-TV. The Fayette County coroner was reportedly called to the family's home, and Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers also was on the scene for a short period. Officers told WKYT that Carol's death was a family situation and the Barrs would release information later. At this point, no further details about Carol's death have been released.
Carol worked as a healthcare representative for Pfizer, and previously served as the executive director for the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship. She grew up in Georgetown and graduated from the University of Kentucky.
"During this tragic time, we respectfully ask for privacy for Congressman Barr and his family to grieve Mrs. Barr being called home to heaven," Rosado's statement said. "Congressman Barr may release a more detailed statement at a later date, but right now is solely focused on being a father to his two beautiful daughters."
McConnell is not the only politician currently sending their condolences to the Barr family. Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky tweeted Wednesday, "Our hearts are heavy tonight. 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."
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear added a message from him and his wife on social media: "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," he wrote. "We are praying for the Barr family."