CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Delegate Mike Porter, a Republican from Mercer County, died Monday at CAMC following complications from heart surgery.
Porter, 69, was completing his third term in the House, where House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, remembered him Monday as a champion of the working class.
"He brought a lot of common sense to the House," Armstead said of Porter, who was a self-employed long-distance truck driver. "In caucus, or on the House floor, he would stand up and say, 'Here's how this affects the working people of West Virginia.'"
Gov. Joe Manchin and House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, issued statements of condolence Monday.
Thompson said Porter was "very affable and a true gentleman, just a pleasure to be around. He cared deeply about his work on behalf of the people of Mercer County and for the good of the entire state. He will be greatly missed."
In his statement, Manchin said, "He was truly a great representative for his district and this is a terrible loss to the entire state of West Virginia"
Porter is the second legislator from Mercer County to die this year. Senate Minority Leader Don Caruth, R-Mercer, died in May after a long battle with brain cancer.
Porter was running for re-election in the 25th District. It was not clear Monday what would happen to his slot on the ballot in that race. Republican Joe Ellington, Democratic incumbent John Frazier and Democrat Bill Morefield<co > are also running for the district's two seats.