I was just in process of checking a tip on this when I saw Roby Brock's post on the death this morning of Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission Director Steve Bryles. Bryles, 55, a former state senator from Blytheville, reportedly had been receiving treatment for esophogeal cancer. He became Livestock and Poultry director last March. The governor's office confirms his death and says a statement will be coming shortly. UPDATE:
Steve Bryles was a good friend with a gentle heart who never wanted to stop helping people. His work was always deliberate, his dedication to public service unwavering, and regardless of the stakes, he always kept a level head. In all the years I knew Steve, I don't ever remember seeing him losing his temper." — Governor Mike Beebe
Said Democratic chair Will Bond
There was no one more fun to have on your side in a legislative battle than Sen. Steve Bryles. He could be relentless on an issue, but still grin and laugh. On education issues, he reminded us constantly that our main focus should be providing world-class schools for all Arkansas children no matter their background. He had a great sense of humor, and although he was a serious legislator, he never took himself too seriously. We want to say thank you to his family for sharing this wonderful man with Arkansas. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time. And to Steve, we love and miss you.”
Beebe named Bryles as Director of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission in March of 2012.
A Democrat, Bryles sought retiring U.S. Rep. Marion Berry's seat in 2010, but trailed in the Democratic primary. He was an important legislator and, in my experience, a good guy.