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Updated: State Rep. Ken Legler Passes Away

State Rep. Ken Legler, R-Pasadena, has passed away, according to the House speaker's office. He was 54.

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Update, 5:01 p.m.:

More people are extending their condolences to the family of Rep. Ken Legler. 

"He knew the value of hard work and was always ready to take on the issues that were important to his constituency," Gov. Rick Perry said. He also ordered U.S. and Texas flags statewide lowered to half-staff immediately. In House District 144, Legler's district, the flags are to remain lowered until his funeral. 

House Speaker Joe Straus said Legler was a "a loyal friend and dedicated servant."

David Pineda, who won the Republican primary in Legler's district earlier this week, said he was "in disbelief" over the news.

“Ken and I just spoke this morning about working together to ensure this seat remained in Republican hands," Pineda said. "This region, and the entire state, will greatly miss Ken Legler’s leadership and devotion to making Texas great for future

Original story:

State Rep. Ken Legler, R-Pasadena, passed away Friday, according to the Texas House speaker's office. He was 54.

The cause of death is believed to be a heart attack, according to his office.

Legler was first elected to represent part of Harris County in 2008. He announced in March that he wouldn't seek re-election.

Legler was president of Houston Wire Works in South Houston. Before his election, he served as chairman of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Board and on the boards of the Texas Association of Business and the National Federation of Independent Business. 

Legler's survivors include his wife, Barbara, three children and one grandchild. 

Lawmakers began posting condolences online Friday afternoon. In a tweet, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst wrote, "My condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of Ken Legler."

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