Illinois Congressman Sean Casten’s 17-year-old daughter Gwen Casten died Monday morning, his office announced.
The U.S. representative’s office released a short statement that said the teen passed away but didn’t provide any further details.
“This morning, Congressman Casten’s beloved daughter, Gwen (17), passed away,” Casten’s office said. “The Casten family requests privacy, and we will be issuing no further comment during this heartbreaking time.”
Gwen died inside the family’s Downers Grove home, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing local police.
Downers Grove police were called to respond to a report of an “unresponsive” 17-year-old girl at a home on the block where Casten lives just before 7 a.m. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the outlet.
Gwen was following in the footsteps of her father and fighting for social causes she cared about, her social media shows.
According to her Twitter bio, Gwen served as co-director of the March For Our Lives Illinois chapter.
She also appeared in a campaign video in support of her father, who is running for a third term in Congress.
Just 10 days ago, Rep. Casten mentioned how proud he was of his daughter and her work organizing a “Stop the Bleed” training at her school in a broadcast interview.
He said he had “tremendous pride” that Gwen took the initiative to organize the training, but felt shame that teenagers must do such things while Congress fails to take responsibility for the country’s gun and mass shooting problem.
Casten’s campaign asked all Illinois TV stations to immediately pull his campaign spots off the air until further notice, shortly before his office announced Gwen’s death, according to CBS News-Chicago.
The 50-year-old Democrat is running for re-election in the newly drawn 6th District, where he is the seated incumbent.
Due to redistricting, he will face off fellow Democratic incumbent Rep. Marie Newman as well as Nicor operation mechanic Charles Hughes.
Newman, a freshman congress member, has also immediately suspended her campaign ads, CBS reported.
“My heart breaks for the Casten family for the devastating loss of their daughter,” Newman said in a statement. “My prayers are with Sean, Kara, and the entire Casten family.”
Newman is running against Casten in the 2022 primary after redistricting placed her in the heavily Hispanic 3rd District represented by Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, according to CBS.