By Staff

CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) — The autopsy for the recently-deceased longtime New Hampshire State Rep. Richard “Dick” Hinch has revealed that the 71-year-old died due to COVID-19. Hinch died on Wednesday, just a week after being elected Speaker of the House.

New Hampshire Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennifer V. Duval determined the cause, and the news was announced by Attorney General Gordon J. McDonald on Thursday afternoon.

Hinch, a Republican from Merrimack, was elected to his seventh term as a state representative in November. He had previously served as House Republican Leader (2018-2020), and House Majority Leader (2015-2018). Hinch was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and attended Salem State College. He served in the United States Navy from 1968-72.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said on Wednesday he was “profoundly sad” to learn of Rep. Hinch’s death.

“Speaker Hinch was a fierce defender of the New Hampshire Advantage, a close friend, and a respected public servant. His loss will be greatly felt by the people of this state, and I ask Granite Staters to join me in praying for his family during this incredibly difficult time.”

All flags on public buildings and grounds in New Hampshire were flown at half-staff Wednesday. Staff