Tibbetts worked with U.S. Congressman since 2011.
Gary Tibbetts, a staffer for U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan since 2011, has died of COVID-19, the Longboat Key Republican announced in a statement on Friday.
In a message delivered on Twitter, Buchanan said Tibbetts, 66, died Friday at Manatee Memorial Hospital. Buchanan announced on July 15 that Tibbetts had been hospitalized with the virus. In that statement, Buchanan noted he nor other members of his staff had been in recent contact with Tibbetts.
"He touched so many lives and was loved and respected by those who knew him," Buchanan said in the social media statement. "I will never forget his uplifting spirit, sense of humor, and sheer joy at helping others."
Margaret Good, the Democrat running against Buchanan in the 16th Congressional District, offered condolences.
"I’m deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Gary Tibbetts,’’ she said in a statement. “My heart goes out to his family, friends, and colleagues. He was a dedicated public servant who worked every day to make this community a better place.”