A Statement from David Adkins, CSG executive director/CEO:

All of us at The Council of State Governments, a nonpartisan organization of the states and territories of the United States, were saddened to learn of the passing of former Ohio State Representative Brigid Kelly earlier this week at the age of 40.

Brigid was a model public servant who served the common good. She was elected at the city, county and state levels of government and, in each of these offices, she practiced politics with purpose and positivity.

During Brigid’s service in state government, she contributed much to the success of CSG. She was a member of both the CSG Healthy States National Task Force and the CSG National Executive Committee. In 2018, she was one of 48 state officials in America to be named a CSG Henry Toll Fellow, a recognition reserved for the most promising state officials in our nation. Brigid’s class of fellows remember her as an energetic, talented and generous friend. They join us in mourning her passing.

Brigid served in the Ohio House of Representatives from January 2017 to December 2022. While serving in Columbus, she had the courage to take principled stands, even when those decisions had adverse personal political consequences. Brigid also demonstrated the ability to act with civility and work across the aisle to forge compromise and build consensus. She focused on solving problems rather than worrying about who would get the credit.

The Norwood (Ohio) City Council, to which Brigid was elected upon graduation from college, adopted a resolution on the evening of her death, which read in part, “Kelly is widely known as a leader who conducts herself with kindness, perseverance, and most importantly, integrity, enriching the lives of those fortunate enough to know and work with her.” That is the Brigid we were lucky to know.

As a state representative, Brigid said in a floor speech, “We should be kind to one another. We have some serious disagreements and differences in perspective, but you really never know what someone else is going through and you should never dismiss the possibility of working together on the issues about which you agree just because you disagree on so many others.”

CSG expresses its condolences to her husband, Steve Culter, her parents, siblings, and all who knew and loved her. We will hold them close in our thoughts. 

Brigid Kelly was a shining example of the best of public servants. While cancer claimed her life, nothing will dim the light of her legacy of leadership reflected in all the many lives made better because Brigid lived and served the citizens of her beloved Buckeye State.

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