A 29-year-old member of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign died Friday after collapsing at campaign headquarters in downtown Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Alex Okrent had been with Obama’s team since 2004, working on the president’s 2008 campaign and his 2004 Senate bid before that. During the 2012 election cycle, Okrent worked in the campaign’s paid media department, which handles advertising.
According to the Sun-Times, Chicago paramedics were called to campaign headquarters at 10:36 a.m. after Okrent collapsed. He was given emergency treatment and then taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Obama learned of Okrent’s death while campaigning in Virginia on Friday afternoon and called his family afterward to offer his condolences, USA Today reported. He also spoke with other campaign staffers during a conference call.
“A beloved member of our campaign family, Alex Okrent, passed away today. Our prayers are with his loved ones. We will miss you, Alex,” Obama wrote on his campaign Twitter account.
Obama rival Mitt Romney also offered his condolences, writing on Twitter: “Ann & I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alex Okrent. Prayers are with Alex’s loved ones and the entire Obama campaign team.”
Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod responded to Romney’s tweet, “Thank you, governor. Alex was a beloved member of our team. It’s been a very emotional day.”