Longtime Republican North Dakota Lawmaker Dies Suddenly After Eating Raw Oysters

Rae Ann Kelsch died Tuesday morning at a New Orleans hospital from a bacterial infection

NEW ORLEANS, LA — Former longtime Mandan Republican state Rep. Rae Ann Kelsch has suddenly died in New Orleans.

Alex Kelsch says his mother died this morning at a hospital from a bacterial infection caused by eating raw oysters at a restaurant.

She was just 58.

Kelsch was first elected to the North Dakota House in 1990 and served 22 years, including as the chairwoman of the Education Committee.

She was defeated in the 2012 primary after it came to light she didn’t file state income tax returns for seven years.

In a statement, Gov. Doug Burgum called Kelsch “a dedicated public servant and family woman, and a fierce champion for education and many other causes”.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Statement from Sen. John Hoeven:

“Mikey and I are truly saddened to hear of Rae Ann’s passing. She was not only a friend and colleague, but a true leader on education issues in the state of North Dakota. As governor, I worked with Rae Ann as she led education efforts in the North Dakota House of Representatives and served as a champion for North Dakota’s teachers, students and schools. She will be deeply missed. Mikey and I pray for Rae Ann and her family, and send our sincerest condolences to them.”

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News