House lawmaker from western Massachusetts district dies

BOSTON (AP) — A state lawmaker representing a western Massachusetts district has died.

The death of Rep. Peter Kocot was announced Thursday in an email from House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

DeLeo said the 61-year-old Kocot died Thursday morning, but didn’t offer details on the cause of death.

DeLeo called the fellow Democrat “one of the most kind, decent and selfless individuals that I have had the pleasure to know.” He said his prayers are with Kocot’s wife Shauneen, his children, extended family and staff.

DeLeo said he will share more details as they become available.

Kocot co-chaired the Committee on Health Care Financing and also served on the House Committee on Ethics. He was first elected to the House in a 2002 special election.

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Kocot’s district includes Hatfield, Northampton, Southampton, Westhampton and Montgomery.

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