Kyle Van de Water, former candidate for New York’s 19th Congressional District and first to declare intent to run against Antonio Delgado earlier this summer, has died at the age of 41, officials confirmed Tuesday.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro confirmed Van de Water’s death in a statement Tuesday evening.
“My heart is broken for Kyle’s children and family,” Molinaro said. “My prayers are with them as they attempt to come to grips with this absolute tragedy. Kyle was a war hero who put his life and well-being on the line for his country. We owe him, his family, and all of our brave service men and women everything for the sacrifices they have made.”
The nature of Van de Water’s death was not clear. A call to the Poughkeepsie Police Department were not immediately returned.
Brent Bogardus, Greene County Republican chairman, said he heard of Van De Water’s death around 4 p.m. from an unnamed Poughkeepsie political associate.
Van De Water, 41, of Millbrook, announced his intention to run against Delgado next November for a second time on July 12. Van de Water, who had run against Delgado in 2019, withdrew his candidacy Aug. 27.
Van De Water withdrew his intent to run in a social media post less than two weeks ago, saying he was no longer able to give “110%” to the race in light of unspecified life changes.
“I have been truly humbled by and will be forever grateful for all of the support I have received these past few years. It has been an honor getting to meet so many of you as I traveled across the district,” according to a post on Van De Water’s campaign’s Facebook and Twitter pages. “For the good of the party, and the district, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy. I look forward to vigorously and enthusiastically supporting the GOP candidate in 2022.
“Unfortunately, circumstances in my life have changed and I am no longer able to give 110% toward this endeavor,” he said in a statement.
Molinaro on Tuesday offered resources for service men and women in crisis.
“To all our service men and women who struggle upon returning home, and anyone who may be struggling with this news, please know that help is always available to you,” he said. “In Dutchess County, if you are in crisis, call or text our HELPLINE at 845 485 9700, or walk-in to our 24/7 Stabilization Center at 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie.”
A major in the U.S. Army, Van De Water went on active duty in 2006 and completed one tour in Afghanistan. He served as a judicial advocate in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Van De Water was discharged in 2014 and remains in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Kyle and his wife, Melissa, have four children: Middle school-aged triplets Thomas, Lincoln and Annabelle; and Levi.
He is a former Millbrook village trustee. A graduate of Albany Law School, Van De Water worked as a trial and litigation attorney with Corbally, Gartland & Rappleyea in Poughkeepsie.
The 19th District encompasses all of Columbia, Greene, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties, and parts of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery and Rensselaer counties.
Check back for more details on this developing story.