Antigay Republican lawmaker Bill Nojay, who was mired in legal troubles, died by suicide Friday morning, yet still won a primary race in in Western New York‘s 133rd Assembly district against challenger Rick Milne.
Nojay shot himself near his family plot in Rochester’s Riverside Cemetery.
He was facing charges of fraud in Cambodia related to a $1 million investment in a proposed rice exporting operation gone bust and had been scheduled to appear in federal court Friday on fraud charges related to a $1.8 million trust fund he managed for a longtime client and friend, according to sources familiar with the case, the Democrat & Chronicle reports.
The Republican Party now has ten days to find a replacement candidate to run against Democratic challenger Barbara Baer. The Conservative, Independence and Reform parties all face the same situation, since they also nominated Nojay. Milne, who stopped campaigning when he learned of Nojay’s death, has informed Republican Party chairmen that he wishes to be the nominee.
He was a conservative, representing a conservative district, and had an antigay voting record, twice voting in favor of conversion therapy.
Milne had pitched himself as a less conservative alternative, saying he was in favor of gay marriage while appearing on a local radio show.