Doug Ericksen, a staunch conservative Washington state senator who led Donald Trump’s campaign in the north-western state and was an outspoken critic of Democratic governor Jay Inslee’s Covid-19 pandemic emergency orders, has died. He was 52.
Ericksen’s death on Friday came weeks after he said he tested positive for coronavirus while in El Salvador – though his cause of death wasn’t immediately released.
The state Senate Republican caucus confirmed his death but did not say where he died.
The Ferndale Republican reached out to Republican colleagues last month, saying he had taken a trip to El Salvador and tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after he arrived. Reasons for his visit were unclear.
In a message to state House and Senate members, Ericksen asked for advice on how to receive monoclonal antibodies, which were not then available in El Salvador.
He soon arranged a medevac flight out of El Salvador, former state representative Luanne Van Werven said. Van Werven said the next week the senator was recovering at a Florida hospital. No information about Ericksen’s location or condition had since been released.
Ericksen represented the 42nd district in Whatcom county and had been in the state legislature since 1998, the Seattle Times reported. He served six terms in the state House before being elected to the Senate in 2010.
Ericksen introduced legislation aimed at protecting the rights of people who do not wish to get vaccinated. It was unclear if he had been vaccinated against Covid-19.