Former Sen. Kay Hagan has died at 66, after complications from a prolonged illness

zrfphoto/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Former U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., died on Monday in her home in Greensboro, North Carolina, according to her family. She was 66.”We are heartbroken to share that Kay left us unexpectedly this morning,” the family said in a statement. “Kay meant everything to us, and we were honored to share her with the people of North Carolina whom she cared for and fought for so passionately as an elected official.”Hagan is survived by her husband, Chip, and her three children, Tilden, Jeanette and Carrie.In 2016, Hagan contracted a brain inflammation from a tick-borne virus. Hagan was hospitalized in Atlanta for about six months before beginning outpatient treatment, according to the Greensboro News & Record.Hagan served a single term from 2009 to 2015, after defeating Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2008. Hagan lost her reelection campaign to Republican Sen. Thom Tillis in 2014, in what was then the most expensive Senate race ever.Tillis said in a tweet that he and his wife, Susan, were “heartbroken.”Before working in politics, Hagan worked as an attorney and eventually became vice president of what is now Bank of America.She began her political career as a county campaign manager for former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt’s campaigns in 1992 and 1996. She was recruited in 1998 to run for a state Senate seat, representing a Greensboro district, where she served for five terms after unseating a Republican incumbent.When she ran for the U.S. Senate, Hagan won 60% of the vote in the Democratic primary, and was aided by having Barack Obama’s name on the ballot in the general election.The former president, in a statement Monday afternoon, called Hagan a “terrific public servant.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.