Jordan Palmer releases statement on the suicide of his friend and roommate, Matthew Vanderpool, the first gay person to run for the Kentucky General Assembly.
Gay rights activist and Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer released a statement Wednesday, mourning the death of a former state house candidate who shot himself during a standoff with police.
Palmer served as Mathew Vanderpool’s campaign manager in the Kentucky House District 45 race. Vanderpool challenged Republican incumbent Rep. Stan Lee.
“Mr. Vanderpool is/was my roommate and a wonderful person; he also volunteered for Kentucky Equality Federation. I am devastated by this loss. His loss will be felt by everyone who knew and loved him; I knew him since 2006 when he first approached me about volunteering for Kentucky Equality Federation and one day running for public office. He was a wonderful friend, and I will miss him forever,” Palmer wrote.
Police say they responded to a home on Wheatcroft Court around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday to check on a person inside the home. When officers arrived, they heard a gun shot. Police evacuated residents nearby as a precaution, and an emergency response unit later entered the home.
The coroner says Vanderpool, 24, was found with a fatal, apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in a car in the garage of the home.
Vanderpool defeated an Air Force veteran and a lawyer to win the 2010 Democratic primary for the 45th district of Kentucky’s House of Representatives. Lee defeated him in the general election last November.
During the campaign, Vanderpool told LEX 18 that he was running not as a “gay candidate, but as a candidate who happens to be gay.”