LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — According to the Lexington-Herald Leader, Larry Forgy has passed away.

Forgy was an independent supporter of the Republican Party. In 1995, Forgy narrowly lost the race for governor to Democrat Paul Patton.

Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said in a statement he was “saddened to learn of the passing of Larry Forgy, a prominent Kentucky Republican who made an important mark on our state party.”

McConnell went on to praise the devotion Forgy offered the state of Kentucky.

“Larry built a high-profile career in both law and politics, making it his life’s work to serve the Commonwealth and its citizens,” McConnell said. “Through his advocacy, he forged friendships with Kentuckians from all corners of our state, and I know we will all miss his humor, lively speeches, and kind heart.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles called Forgy a pioneer in Kentucky GOP politics.

“He was one of the best off-the-cuff stump speakers I ever had the privilege of hearing, never hesitated to speak his mind, and served as an inspiration for many young conservatives growing up in Kentucky,” Quarles said.

Forgy was 82 years old.