Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Republican House Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania died at the age of 56 on Monday, his family said.
Fitzpatrick's brother, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick who currently holds his former seat, said he died after a 12-year battle with cancer.
"My heart is broken," he wrote. "My big brother Mike was my hero and my best friend. Ever since I was little, I wanted to live up to him and be just like Mike in every way. He was the greatest brother and the greatest public servant our community has ever known."
After serving as Bucks County commissioner for 10 years, Fitzpatrick was first elected to represent Pennsylvania's 8th district in 2004 and served until 2007 when he lost his seat to Democrat Patrick Murphy.
He regained the seat in 2011 and chose not to seek re-election in 2016, citing his belief in term limits, and his younger brother was elected to the seat.
The Republican Party of Pennsylvania offered condolences to Fitzpatrick's family and commended him for his time in office.
"Congressman Fitzpatrick was a loyal friend, valued law partner and a trusted political adviser," Chairman Lawrence Tabas said. "He will be sorely missed by all who knew him."