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Less than 24 hours before state Sen. Scott White was found dead in a Cle Elum hotel room, friends of his say he was out

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Sen. Scott White, Young Rising Washington State Dem, Dies Suddenly of Heart Attack

scott white01.jpg
Less than 24 hours before state Sen. Scott White was found dead in a Cle Elum hotel room, friends of his say he was out with them "in a great mood like he always is."

Police quickly ruled out foul play in the originally-mysterious death, and then late on Sunday the Kittitas County Coroner's Office announced that White had died of a "cardiac event" due to an enlarged heart.

As the AP and others have reported White, 41, was found dead at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum by housekeepers after he failed to check out on Friday. He'd been in town for a leadership conference hosted by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Randy Hodgins, vice president of external affairs at the University of Washington, is quoted saying the Senator was in high spirits the night beforehand.

He recalled that White talked about how content he was with the work he was doing in Olympia. The group returned to the hotel around 10:30 p.m., and Hodgins said White was upbeat.

"He was in a great mood like he always is," Hodgins said. "We had a great, wonderful night."

Hodgins noticed that White wasn't around for events Friday morning, but assumed he had left for home early.

White, married with two children, represented the 46th District in North Seattle.

He worked both as a lecturer and as a project manager at UW, as well as an analyst with King County and the state of Washington. In the Senate he served as Majority Whip, chaired the Transportation Committee, and served on the Higher Education & Workforce Development and the Rules Committees as well.

Support for the young Senator came pouring in over the weekend, with Gov. Gregoire calling him a "absolute pleasure to work with" and state Sen. Ed Murray saying he was a rising star, "ambitious, but he was positive."

It's amazing how suddenly life can end. Our heartfelt condolences go out to White's widow Alison and their two children.

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