Just six weeks before the midterm elections, a female candidate for Florida’s 17th Congressional District in the U.S. House passed away suddenly. Here’s everything to know about April Freeman.
April Freeman, the 54-year-old Democratic candidate vying to replace Rep. Tom Rooney in Florida’s 17th Congressional District, suddenly passed away on Sept. 23, just six weeks before the election. Her husband, Matt Freeman, confirmed the news in an emotional Facebook post. “It’s with great sadness that I feel I must inform all of you that my beloved wife April passed away suddenly past night,” he wrote. “To all of her family and friends here on Facebook, my heart aches with you.” He confirmed to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that it appeared April suffered a heart attack before her death. Here’s everything to know:
1) She has a political history in Florida. April was the Democratic candidate to represent Florida’s 19th district during the 2014 midterm elections. She ran unopposed in the primary, but was defeated by Republican Curt Clawson, the Incumbent, in the general election. She then ran to represent Florida’s 17th Congressional District in 2016, but the Republican Incumbent, Tom Rooney, was victorious at the general election. After beating Bill Pollard in the Democratic primary this year, she was set to go up against Republican Greg Steube during the general election on Nov. 6. Her name will remain on the ballot in November, and the state’s Democratic Party will be given the opportunity to designate another nominee at that time.
2) She’s well-educated. April studied communications at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, then went on to complete courses in Environmental Science, Economics and Political Science at Yale. She also graduated from the Women’s Campaign School at Yale Law School in 2013.
3) She’s a business owner. Before getting involved in politics, April worked in writing, publishing, film making and public relations. She remains the CEO of her companies, Spiked Heel Productions and Comp Edge Media.
4) She’s a mother and grandmother. April’s husband, David, is her high school sweetheart. They have two daughters together, as well as two grandchildren.
5) She’s a published writer. April is the author of a series of children’s books, but also has sports articles published. She was working on a self-help book and political guide for wmen before her death.