A NEW York congressional candidate was found dead in a cemetery – just weeks after dropping out of his second bid for the US House of Representatives.
Afghanistan veteran Kyle Van De Water, 41, died unexpectedly on Tuesday.
He was found dead by cops at New York's Poughkeepsie rural cemetery.
Police are investigating the death as a likely suicide, the Mid Hudson News reports.
No official cause of death has been announced.
His death came just weeks after he pulled out of the race to unseat Rep. Antonio Delgado – the Democratic lawmaker for New York's 19th congressional district.
The attorney announced his withdrawal from the contest on August 27.
He said: “I have been truly humbled by and will be forever grateful for all of the support I have received these past few years.
“Unfortunately, circumstances in my life have changed and I am no longer able to give 110 percent towards this endeavor.
“For the good of the party, and the district, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy. I look forward to vigorously and enthusiastically supporting the GOP candidate in 2022.”
De Water previously ran for the seat last year as a Republican but was unsuccessful.
The dad-of-four joined the US Army in 2006 and received a Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan.
He also earned the Meritorious Service medal before being granted an honorable discharge in 2014.
Tributes have poured in after news of the veteran's death emerged.
'LOST A HERO'
Rep. Delgado said: “My 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.
“I know he will be immensely missed and I’m praying for all who loved him – his friends, fellow soldiers, and family.
“Kyle’s death is tragically felt not only on 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.”
George Santos, the GOP’s candidate for New York’s third congressional district, tweeted: “Tonight we mourn as we receive the tragic news that we have lost a hero.
“To the Van de Water family, I extend my deepest condolences and hope they find peace.”
The Republican Party of New York said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Kyle's untimely passing.
“He was an American hero and soldier whose selfless service in the Army will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.”
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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