House Democratic staffer dies after suffering heart attack

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Jim Richards, a longtime House Democratic staffer, died this week after suffering a heart attack over the weekend.

Richards, 57, served as communications director for the caucus for nearly five years. He first started with the House Democrats in 2004 as a senior leadership coordinator before becoming the deputy chief of staff in 2008. In 2010, he left to work for a consulting group before returning the House in November 2014.

Richards, of University Place, died Tuesday night, according to an email sent to House staff and lawmakers Wednesday night by Chief of Staff Orlando Cano.

Cano wrote that Richards "was a beloved and valued member of our HDC family who will be deeply missed."

Richards is survived by his wife, Julie, and three children, Andrew, Jack, and Mary.