Madison County Circuit Clerk Matt Melucci.
EDWARDSVILLE, IL (AP) - A longtime circuit clerk in southwestern Illinois has died.
Madison County officials say Circuit Clerk Matt Melucci was 69 when he died Thursday night of cancer at his Collinsville home.
Melucci served in the post for nearly 20 years and was planning to retire in November, having announced last September that he would not seek re-election this year.
Democratic Madison County Clerk Mark Von Nida faces Republican John Barberis Jr. in the November election for circuit clerk's position.
Melucci also has served as chairman of the Madison County Democratic Party since 2007.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
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Illinois Rep. Jerry Costello issued the following statement:
"Matt has been a close and trusted friend for over 30 years. Matt encouraged me to run for Congress in 1988, was one of my strongest supporters in the campaign and then went to Washington, D.C., to become my chief of staff after the election, a position that he held for three years before returning to Madison County.
"Matt (Melucci) was truly a wonderful human being and a model public servant, giving a great deal to the people of Madison County, our region and our nation. In addition to his work as Circuit Clerk, Matt was an Army veteran and served as Executive Director of the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council.
"Matt (Melucci) was bright, honest, loyal, proud of his family, proud of his Italian heritage, true to his Catholic faith, true to his party - the Democratic Party - and a true friend. I will miss him but I know after spending time and speaking with him over the last several weeks that he was at peace and knowing that he was going to a better place."