Wisconsin State Rep. Bob Gannon Dead At 58

West Bend Lawmaker Reportedly Died Of Natural Causes

Wisconsin state Rep. Bob Gannon, R-West Bend, has died at the age of 58. His death was confirmed in a statement from Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke Wednesday morning.

Rep. Bob Gannon. Courtesy of the state of Wisconsin

According to the Washington County Insider, emergency responders found Gannon unresponsive in a vehicle around 9 p.m. Tuesday night. The statement from Steineke’s office said the death was the result of “natural causes.”

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“I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and colleague, Representative Bob Gannon,” Steineke said in the statement. “During his time in the legislature, Bob’s proved to be a committed and effective part of our caucus, and his presence will be greatly missed. His extensive work with charities throughout the state has resulted in a better Wisconsin for everyone.”

Governor Scott Walker also released a statement.

“Tonette and I are saddened by the passing of Representative Bob Gannon,” it said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife, Kris, and their children as we mourn the loss of a devoted husband, father, friend, and public servant. Bob’s energy and passion will be deeply missed.”

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in a statement that Gannon made the Assembly chamber a “livelier place.”

“Bob will be remembered for his unwavering passion and unapologetic approach to politics,” he said. “I’m especially proud of the work that he was doing as the chair of the new Assembly committee, the Committee on Urban Revitalization. He was dedicated to serving his constituents well and tackling important issues like poverty in Wisconsin.”

Gannon first was elected to the Assembly in 2014 and was know as an outspoken conservative. He built a reputation as pro-gun and tough on crime, threatening to drop membership in the West Bend Sunshine Rotary Club because the group wouldn’t sponsor gun or knife shows. He also defended the Department of Corrections for placing children in solitary confinement at the state’s youth prison, saying they earned it.

His tenure included giving then-Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca the finger last year during floor debate after Barca took issue with Gannon remarks on Milwaukee’s homicide rate. Gannon apologized at Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ urging.

According to his bio on the Assembly website, Gannon was born in Mequon and graduated from West Bend East high school in 1977. He was married with 2 children.

Gannon was the owner of Richards Insurance Agency and a member of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary Club.

Editor’s note: This story will be updated with additional information as WPR learns more.