Politician Kills Self 4 Days Before Primary

Republican assemblyman Bill Nojay shot himself at family's burial plot
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2016 1:20 PM CDT
Lawmaker Kills Self in Middle of Re-election Campaign
Assemblyman Bill Nojay speaks during a gun-rights rally in New York in 2013. He killed himself Friday.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

A New York state lawmaker running for re-election killed himself Friday, four days before the state's Republican primary, the Democrat and Chronicle reports. Police were called about a distraught man at an area cemetery and arrived to see Bill Nojay shoot and kill himself. He died next to his brother's grave in his family's burial plot. It's unclear what led Nojay to kill himself, but the lawmaker had recently become embroiled in a number of controversies. According to the New York Times, he was accused of embezzling $1.8 million from a legal client and was supposed to be in court on those charges Friday. And federal investigators are looking into an agricultural business Nojay started in Cambodia after he allegedly took a $1 million donation from a Cambodian dentist and had nothing to show for it. He was also being investigated for his role in a $1.3 billion deal to modernize schools, the Albany Times Union reports.

The 59-year-old father of three was first elected to the state assembly in 2012. Nojay was known for going against Democrats and Republicans alike and for his anti-gun control work. He hosted a local radio show and had been championing Donald Trump for president since 2013. He also worked on elections in Afghanistan and Ukraine. Nojay will remain on the primary ballot. If he ends up winning Tuesday, party leaders will have to nominate a replacement for the general election. Nojay's Republican challenger, Richard Milne, says he's "devastated" by the news and is "suspending all political activity until further notice." (More suicide stories.)

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