Businessman Wil Cardon, who took on Jeff Flake for the open U.S. Senate seat in 2012 and ran for secretary of state two years later, has passed away, his family announced tonight.
He was 45.
“Today a father, husband, son, brother and friend to so many left our family to be with the greatest angels, of which he will now be one,” his family said through a statement sent by public relations consultant Jason Rose.
“The only thing that can ease tears at a moment like this is remembering Wil’s smile that was as wide as Arizona, especially when it came to our five children,” the family added.
Cardon’s family did not say how he died, but openly acknowledged his struggles with depression. The Arizona Republic reported that he committed suicide.
“It is no secret Wil struggled with depression. He tried mightily for us, for himself and for all to overcome it. We are proud of how he faced this disease with openness and honesty. Today it finally took him, as it takes far too many,” his family said.
Cardon lost to Flake in the 2012 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jon Kyl. He also unsuccessfully ran for secretary of state in 2014.
In a series of tweets, Flake expressed sorrow at Cardon’s passing.
“Wil was a good man and a good friend, gone far too soon. My prayers are with Nicole and the entire Cardon family,” Flake said, and recalled how Cardon called him after the shooting incident in Virginia in June “just to make sure I was OK.”