Republican state Sen. Dave Cox died Tuesday.
The 72-year-old Cox died after a 13-year battle with prostate cancer, according to a statement released by his family.
Cox, from Fair Oaks in the Sacramento area, served six years in the Senate. He also served for six years in the Assembly, including three as minority leader, and spent six years on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.
His death creates a vacancy in the Senate that will have to be filled by a special election. There is also one fewer potential vote for a state budget.
California state budgets must be approved by two-thirds of each house, or 27 votes in the 40-member Senate. Even with Cox’s death creating a second vacancy, the 27-vote requirement is unchanged.
“Dave has been a fixture in Sacramento politics my entire career, and a champion for the Sacramento community for decades,” Senate President pro tempore Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said in a statement.
Steinberg had named Cox to chair the Senate Local Government Committee, an unusual cross-party appointment.