Lawmakers Pay Tribute To State Rep. David Brumbaugh
OKLAHOMA CITY - The state House of Representatives observed a moment of silence Monday to honor a leader, who died suddenly over the weekend.
Lawmakers wiped away tears as they remembered 56-year-old Rep. David Brumbaugh as a man not everyone always agreed with, but someone they could all respect.
“It’s pretty emotional, pretty raw still,” said Rep. George Faught, R-District 14. “We’re in quite a bit of shock.”
Shocked to learn that colleague and friend, Representative David Brumbaugh collapsed at his home Saturday.
“David was unresponsive and they called the ambulance. His heart actually stopped. They had to use CPR and defibrillator to get it started in the ambulance,” Faught said.
Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Tulsa, shared a desk with Brumbaugh; his chair was draped with the state flag on Monday.
Ritze, who is also a doctor, said Brumbaugh had been struggling with diabetes.
“I said, 'when did you see your doctor last?' ‘Oh, about a year ago.’ And you know that drove me crazy. I said you gotta see your doctor. Even staff here came to me and said what’s wrong? He’s lost so much weight,” Ritze recalled.
Ritze said he was so concerned he called Brumbaugh’s wife. She said he had been ignoring his health, focusing instead on his work.
“He said he’s so intense with the session and with the caucus chair that he’s just not taking care of himself,” Ritze said.
Ritze and Brumbaugh lived just a few miles away and had become close friends; a friendship they had hoped would last a lifetime.
“David told me, he said you know some day Doc you and I are going to sit on your back porch and look at those cows in our rocking chairs,” Ritze recalls, choking back tears. “He’s rocking with Jesus now.”
Brumbaugh’s seat will be filled by a special election to be set by the governor. Right now, there are three vacant seats in the House of Representatives and one soon to be vacant seat.
Funeral arrangements for Brumbaugh are pending. Brumbaugh will be lying in state 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Capitol.