George Burke, communications director to U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly of Northern Virginia, died Friday night, according to a release from the Fairfax Country Democrats. Burke was a longtime Northern Virginia Democrat, having served in several Fairfax County Committee leadership positions since the early 1980s. He was chair of the 11th Congressional District Democratic Committee, member of the Democratic Party of VA Steering Committee, and according to the release, “A great friend, mentor and adviser to all who knew him. George never let his illness get in the way of living his life. George was a fighter and a brilliant strategist. His advice was valued by many campaigns and committee members.”
Connolly commented on the loss: “Friday 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.”
Fairfax County Board Chair Sharon Bulova stated: “George has been the most wonderful friend, supporter and fighter for our party. We have all benefited from George’s good heart, wise advice and stalwart support. The world is a better place thanks to the contributions George has made.”
Burke is survived by his wife, Sharon, and three children, Ian, Caitlin, and Sean. There will be a memorial service at a later date to celebrate his life, and details will be released when available.