Governor's chief of staff dies after heart attack

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) His peers say he was a man who liked to work behind the scenes, but tonight their praise for the way Mike Haydon lived his life puts him front and center.

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen says Mike Haydon will leave a lasting legacy in both state government and beyond.

"The three things I'll always remember about Mike Haydon, were one, how much he loved his wife, Lisa, and their kids; secondly, how much he loved serving the people of Kentucky; third, what a great job he did as the chief of staff, which I can tell you I think is the hardest job in state government," said Edelen.

Haydon took over the position of Governor Steve Beshear's chief of staff after Edelen stepped down in 2010. A spokesperson for the governor's office says Haydon served in various positions in state and local government for more than thirty years, leaving a legacy that Edelen says is sizeable.

"The governor has a big job tonight. He's not just trying to find the right person to take his administration forward, but he's faced with the impossible task of finding somebody to be a replacement for someone who's best described as a 'Kentucky legend'," said Edelen.

Edelen says he hopes that image of Mike Haydon will inspire others.

"I think that example of just a regular guy who was focused on his family, doing a lot of great things for the people of Kentucky will be an example to the younger generation, who I hope aspires to a similar kind of public service," said Edelen.

Haydon had also served as chief of staff to Representative and House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins. Adkins said in 25 years of working in politics, Haydon was one of the finest people he's met.

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