Minnesota state Sen. Jerry Relph dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

Minnesota state Sen. Jerry Relph visited an emergency room twice after contracting COVID-19. File Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Senate

Dec. 19 (UPI) — Minnesota state Sen. Jerry Relph has died weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, his wife announced. He was 76.

Though a family statement didn’t include Jerry Relph’s cause of death, it came after he was admitted to an emergency room for symptoms related to the novel coronavirus.

“I’m heartbroken to share that my husband, Jerry Relph, has passed away and entered his heavenly home,” his wife, Pegi Broker-Relph, said in a statement Saturday.

“I’d like to thank everyone at the legislature for the relationships and sense of family you provided for us over the last four years. I am profoundly grateful for all the love and support our family has received.”

Jerry Relph entered quarantine in November after learning he was exposed to the novel coronavirus at the State Capitol. He later tested positive for the virus and twice went to the emergency room for treatment.

Minnesota Public Radio said multiple state senators tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a party at a restaurant.

Jerry Relph served a single term in the state Senate, filling a vacant seat in 2016. He lost his re-election bid in November by 315 votes.

“Senator Jerry Relph was a true friend and colleague loved by so many. For four years, he rolled up his sleeves and tackled tough issues for our state. Senator Relph will always be remembered as a dedicated public servant,” said state Senate Republican leader Paul Gazelka.

“He was already thinking of ways to have an impact on his community after narrowly losing his re-election. We are deeply saddened by his passing and offer our prayers and support to the Relph family.”


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