The following statement from Rep. Gerry Connolly is on the death last night of Virginia Democratic political giant George Burke after a battle with cancer. For our part, George and I had a contentious relationship in the early years, but that changed, and I ended up both liking and respecting George a great deal for his intelligence, passion, commitment, strategic sense, vast knowledge of politics (and many other things; note the photo of George and former Speaker Tip O'Neill). I will greatly miss our frequent Gchats and other conversations, including his help in sharpening my understanding on a wide variety of topics. Condolences to George's family, (many) friends and colleagues.
Last night, we lost a dear friend and colleague, George Burke. Full of passion and energy, he dedicated his life to fighting for our progressive Democratic values. A trusted, wise and gifted political mind, George's vision and leadership helped build and grow our Democratic Party of Virginia.
A man of many talents, he was an accomplished journalist, photographer, congressional staffer, senior labor leader with the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Chair of the 11th Congressional District Democratic Committee, and my trusted confidant and Communications Director.
For more than 30 years I have been fortunate to call George my close friend. We will all miss his stories, his unwavering optimistic approach to life, and his love for his friends and family. His loss will leave a great void in all our lives and I will miss him dearly. My thoughts are with his wife Sharon, and his three children Ian, Caitlin, and Sean.