Tennessee Rep. Ron Lollar has died

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee Rep. Ron Lollar has died.

According to initial reports, it appears the state lawmaker had a heart attack in his sleep. He was 69 years old.

Lollar represented State House District 99 which included Bartlett, Arlington, Lakeland and Millington.

Lollar was the only Republican running in the primary for his seat in August. Early voting in that primary begins next Friday.

Robert Meyer, chairman of the Shelby County Election Commission, said Lollar’s name will stay on the August ballot. After that, it’s up to the local Republican Party to appoint a replacement in the Nov. 6 general election, according to their party’s bylaws.

Fellow state Rep. Antonio Parkinson released a statement saying, “We are saddened to hear of the passing of our colleague State Representative Ron Lollar. He was a fellow Marine, fighter for teachers and an independent thinker regardless of party lines. He will be missed. Our prayers go out to the Lollar family.”

“For more than 10 years I served with Ron Lollar in the House of Representatives and found him to be a man of strong convictions and a heartfelt desire to serve his community,” added Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh. “Ron was a decorated Marine Corps veteran, who I worked with in the Veterans Caucus and where I saw his commitment to Veterans issues. He also served on the Shelby County School Board and his passion for education was front and center during the legislation we passed earlier this year involving the TN Ready testing failures. He was one of the most vocal Representatives and voices for the teachers during that time. I will miss my friend and offer my sincere condolences to his family.”

Senator Lee Harris also released a statement saying Lollar was a “true man of the people.”

“He was fearless, honest, and never afraid to speak his mind. He often offered me guidance and advice, and would tell me when I was coming up short. He helped me become a better legislator and community advocate. He was one of the most interesting people on Capitol Hill and will truly be missed.”