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Lawmaker John Kivela dead of suicide

State Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette
John Kivela's office website
State Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette

There were tears and hugs on the floor of the state House today as colleagues got word that state Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, took his life – one day after his second arrest on a charge of drunk driving.

“I’m sure today is the toughest day we will experience this term together,” House Speaker Tom Leonard told his colleagues in the House. “And I truly have no words about the loss of our dear friend, John Kivela.”

Kivela’s body was found in the home he owned in Lansing. That’s after he was released from the Clinton County jail following his arrest. Kivela was 47. He is survived by his wife and two children.

The state House canceled session today and tomorrow to mourn the Democrat from Marquette.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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