Gatewood Galbraith, a former five-time candidate for Kentucky governor, died on Tuesday evening at the age of 64.
Businesswoman Dea Riley, Galbraith's lieutenant governor running mate in this past November elections, announced the lawyer's death on Facebook.
Dear friends I have just been notified that Gatewood passed away last night, Riley on Facebook. I am heading to Lexington to be with his family. Please say a prayer for his family and friends and all those who loved him.
The reasons for Galbraith's death were not reported by the Fayette County Coroner's office, though the Associated Press reported that he suffered from emphysema.
Galbraith was known as a colorful lawyer with outrageous stances during a career of running for political office. He ran as a Democrat for the state's governor position twice and as a Reform Party candidate twice, including a highly publicized campaign to legalize marijuana.
My view is that government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws, Galbraith said on his Web site.
He most recently campaigned as an Independent in November and finished third behind Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican nominee David Williams. Beshear, who was re-elected, said in a statement he was shocked to hear of Galbraith's death.
Jane and I were shocked and saddened to learn of Gatewood's passing, Beshear said. He was a gutsy, articulate and passionate advocate who never shied away from a challenge or potential controversy.
His runs for office prove he was willing to do more than just argue about the best direction for the state - he was willing to serve, and was keenly interested in discussing issues directly with our citizens. He will be missed.
In addition to campaigning for the legalization of marijuana, Galbraith also recently campaigned for a free on in-state college tuition, grants for students to pursue college or technical school, among other initiatives.
He leaves behind three daughters and a long legacy of political activeness.