April Freeman, a Democratic candidate for the Congressional District 17 seat, died Sunday night of an apparent heart attack at home, her husband David announced. She was 54.

“It’s with great sadness that I feel I must inform all of you that my beloved wife April passed away suddenly last night,” her husband said in a message posted on her personal Facebook page. He later told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, though the cause of death had not been confirmed, she appeared to have suffered a heart attack. “That’s all I know right now,” he said.

On Aug. 28, Freeman, a film and television producer, won the Democratic nomination for the seat which includes all or parts of Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Lee, Okeechobee, Polk and Sarasota counties. She was running against Republican challenger Greg Steube in the Nov. 6 general election.

The district’s current representative, Republican Tom Rooney, is  not seeking re-election. With the exception of Rooney, the district had been held by Democrats since it was created in 1983, although it was redrawn after the 2010 census.

A replacement candidate will be chosen by the district’s Democratic chairs. State law gives the chairs five days to call a meeting, once they are

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