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Sylvia “Cookie” Harris, wife of Rep. Andy Harris, dies

Sylvia “Cookie” Harris, the wife of Republican Rep. Andy Harris, died unexpectedly Thursday.

News of the death of Sylvia Harris came in an official announcement from her husband’s office. No cause of death was immediately available.

The Harris’ had been married more than 30 years. She was the mother of five and grandmother of two, according to the announcement.

Sylvia Harris was described as a devout Catholic and strong advocate of the Maryland Right to Life. Her Facebook page listed her as the director of special events for the Annapolis-based organization.

A number of Republicans and Democrats issued statements in response to the news of Harris’ death.

“We are shocked and saddened by the news, Cookie was a truly wonderful person and the MDGOP’s thoughts, prayers and support go out to her family” said Diana Waterman, chairwoman of the Maryland Republican Party.

“‘Cookie’ had a visible presence in Annapolis advocating on the issues she was so passionate about. All of the Senators had a wonderful relationship with her because of her political views and never-tiring activism.Our thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Harris and the family.” Statement from the Maryland Senate Republican Caucus.

“Words cannot adequately express how heartbroken Yumi and I are to learn of Cookie Harris’s sudden and tragic death. Our deepest condolences and prayers are with Andy and his children Joe, Becky, Irene, Jessica and Danny,” said Larry Hogan, Republican candidate for governor.

“I want to offer my deep and heartfelt condolences to Congressman Harris and his entire family on the tragic passing of Sylvia ‘Cookie’ Harris. The thoughts and prayers of my family, and of all Marylanders, are with the Harris family at this difficult time,” Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown said in a statement issued by his office.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Congressman Andy Harris on the tragic loss of his wife, Sylvia ‘Cookie’ Harris. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harris family,” Gov. Martin J. O’Malley said in a statement.

“It is with great sadness that I offer my sincere condolences to the Harris family on the sudden loss of their devoted mother and wife. Cookie was an active leader in the Cockeysville community and her involvement will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Harris, his children and his family.” Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger said in a statement.