State Representative Joseph Neal dies at 66

South Carolina Rep. Joe Neal (D-Richland) speaks during a special session of the Legislature at the South Carolina Statehouse during a debate about the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds. (Rainier Ehrhardt / AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) — South Carolina State Representative Joseph Neal has passed away, according to the South Carolina House Democratic Caucus.

Neal represented District 70, which covers Richland and Sumter Counties. He was also the pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Chester.

Many lawmakers took to twitter to express their sadness.

We are working to learn how he died. Rep. Neal was 66 years old.

Governor Henry McMaster issued the following statement on the passing of Representative Neal:

Peggy and I wish to extend our most heartfelt condolences to Representative Joe Neal’s family and loved ones. Throughout his remarkable career in public service, he was a compassionate force who gave voice to those without one, and stood tall for those who could not.

In accordance with state law, Governor McMaster has ordered the state capitol flags to be lowered at half-mast on the day of funeral services for Representative Neal.

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