Dec 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

New Hampshire speaker of the House dies of COVID-19

Representative Richard Hinch speaks during the opening session of the New Hampshire Legislature

Rep. Richard Hinch speaks during the opening session of the New Hampshire Legislature on Dec. 2. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

New Hampshire House Speaker Richard "Dick" Hinch died of COVID-19, the state's attorney general's office said Thursday, citing the autopsy report. He was 71.

The big picture: Hinch is among the record 3,124 people in the U.S. who died from the coronavirus on Wednesday.

  • He had been formally elected House speaker on Dec. 2. He served as the state’s House Republican leader from 2015 to 2018, per CNN.
  • The state legislature’s swearing-in ceremony was held outdoors due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier that week, several Republicans who attended an indoor GOP caucus meeting on Nov. 20 tested positive for COVID-19, WCVB reports.

What's next: Sherman Packard, who was appointed Hinch's deputy, will serve as acting speaker until the House can elect a successor. The House is scheduled to meet Jan. 6.

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