Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Rep. Richard Hinch, the newly elected speaker of the New Hampshire House, died of complications from COVID-19, the state's attorney general announced Thursday. He was 71.
New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald announced that the cause of Hinch's death on Wednesday was COVID-19 following an autopsy by New Hampshire Chief Medical Examiner Jennie Duval.
"During this difficult time, the family has requested that their privacy continue to be respected," MacDonald said.
Hinch, who previously served as New Hampshire's House Republican leader from 2015 to 2020, was formally elected House speaker on Dec. 2.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu directed all flags on public buildings and grounds to fly at half-staff in honor of Hinch who was "a respected public servant."
Sununu also said Hinch's death should serve as a reminder of the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Really just a stark reminder, unfortunately, that this virus really doesn't care if you're in a long-term care facility or if you're an elected official," he said. "No one is immune."