Christine Durbin Dies

This is just terrible.
Christine Durbin, the oldest daughter of Sen. Dick Durbin and his wife, Loretta, died Saturday of complications from a congenital heart condition in a Washington-area hospital, the senator's Washington office announced.

Christine Durbin was one of three children in the Illinois senator's family and had worked for 16 years in the Department of Agriculture's emerging markets division in Washington. Christine Durbin also is survived by a brother, Paul; a sister, Jennifer; her husband, Marty Johnson; and a son, Alex.

"Chris Durbin, 40, fought a heroic, lifelong battle with heart disease and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Durbin family," the senator's office said in a statement.

Her death comes days before Durbin, who ranks second in the Senate Democratic leadership, seeks re-election Tuesday. Durbin's office said funeral arrangements were pending.
As many readers here already know, I absolutely love Durbin, and I'm so proud to have him as my senator (he's got a big billboard off 90/94 here in Chicago that I wave to every time I drive by). This is just heartbreaking, and I send my most sincere condolences to him and his family. I was excitedly bubbling to Melissa on Thursday that I was so happy to vote for him again; it's so sad that his inevitable victory will include this tragedy.

(Tip of the energy dome to Michael.)

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