Two former Republican state senators were found dead in their respective homes in Oklahoma and Arkansas this week.
Jonathan Nichols, 53, who served in the Oklahoma Senate for 12 years, was discovered with fatal gunshot wounds in Norman on Wednesday. More than 400 miles to the east, former Arkansas state Senator Linda Collins-Smith was found dead at age 56 a day earlier in a possible homicide, according to NBC affiliate KARK. Police said the cases are under investigation.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson expressed shock at Collins-Smith’s death.
The county sheriff’s office in Arkansas didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Norman police’s public information officer wasn’t available.
Nichols, who served as in the Oklahoma Senate from 2001 to 2013, was found with an apparent gunshot wound after his family called 911, broadcaster KFOR cited police as saying.
Collins-Smith switched from the Democrats to the Republican Party in 2011, was elected to the Arkansas Senate in 2014 and was defeated in last year’s Republican state primary.
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