- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2020

PHOENIX (AP) - The father-in-law of Arizona state Rep. Raquel Terán who was featured in The Arizona Republic after he voted for the first time in his life this year has died of complications from the coronavirus.

Rodolfo “Rudy” Barron, 65, was hospitalized with COVID-19 about 10 days after he voted and remained there for five weeks where he died on Sunday, The Republic reported. He had two children and four grandchildren.

Barron was featured in an article in October about first-time voters, expressing his pride in his decision to start voting. He said he previously didn’t believe his vote mattered much and thought all politicians were crooks and avoided getting involved. But he said this year it was critical to vote.

Health officials have reported more than 6,700 Arizona residents have died from COVID-19 as of Wednesday.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some - especially older adults and people with existing health problems - it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

Terán, a Democrat, now counts her family among those most affected after several family members, including herself, contracted the virus. Terán had mild symptoms. Barron’s son Eddie developed pneumonia, from which he has since recovered.

Terán urged everyone to follow health guidelines, including wearing a mask, social distancing and washing their hands.

Rudy Barron told The Republic in October that he knew he should have gotten involved sooner but that it was never to late to change his patterns, which he intended to do.

“I already put my feet in the water. I’m just going to keep swimming,” he said.

The family plans to have a small funeral, following local safety protocols and coronavirus guidelines.

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