|Mayor Paul Ricketts|
Late word tonight that the former Mayor of Lawrence, Paul Ricketts, is dead at 58.
Ricketts had not been in good health recently and passed away, according to media reports, at his home earlier today.
Defeating Deborah Cantwell in 2007, Ricketts returned the Office of the Mayor of Lawrence to the GOP after the Democrats took it in 2003. In 2011, Ricketts lost a bid for a second term to current Mayor of Lawrence, Dean Jessup. In reaction to the death of his rival and predecessor, Jessup released this statement:
“I am saddened to learn that Mayor Ricketts passed away this evening. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Karen and the entire Ricketts family. Paul was a committed leader for Lawrence who served as Lawrence Township Assessor before his election as mayor in 2007. The city of Lawrence has lost a friend and a dedicated public servant.”The Marion County Republican Party released this statement:
"The Marion County Republican Party is deeply saddened to announce the passing of long-time public servant and Republican Party stalwart, Paul Ricketts. Ricketts passed away this afternoon surrounded by family and friends. 'This is a very sad day for the many people whose lives were touched by Paul. He was a great friend and mentor to so many people, including me. He will be greatly missed.' said Marion County Republican Chairman Kyle Walker."My thoughts are with Mayor Ricketts' family at this difficult time. Paul Ricketts left us too soon.