#Coleg mourns the passing of Aurora Rep. John Buckner

Rep. John Buckner, D-Aurora, passed away today after a brief respiratory illness that pulled him out of the legislature in the final weeks of the session. Fellow lawmakers responded on Twitter.

Buckner, a former educator of 40 years, was the chair of the House Education Committee and one of the early architects of this year’s standardized-testing-reduction grand compromise.

Buckner was a strong advocate for public education and civic life.

“Government should be an active participant in the creation of opportunities. I am wholly confident in the American system and … I believe that collectively, we are much better than we are individually,” Buckner said in his first 2012 bid for office, according to the Aurora Sentinel.

Buckner chats with school kids, as he did for decades. Image via Rep. Jessie Danielson.