SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) — Longtime state Republican Sen. John Schiffer, of Kaycee, has died. He was 68.

KROE in Sheridan reports that Schiffer died Thursday morning at his home following a brief illness. A member of the Schiffer family confirmed his death.

State Rep. Rosie Berger, of Big Horn, is a close friend and says Schiffer was just diagnosed with liver cancer at the end of May.

Schiffer has represented District 22 in Johnson and Sheridan counties since 1993. He was president of the Senate in 2007-08 and Senate Majority Flood Leader in 2006-07.

He was currently serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A rancher by trade, Schiffer was born in Chadron, Nebraska. He and his wife, Nancy, had two children.Funeral arrangements are pending.

Governor Matt Mead issued the following statement on the passing of Senator Schiffer:

“John had true common sense and such a love of Wyoming. It was in his blood. He was a cowboy, a statesman and an advocate for making this state a better place,” Governor Mead said. “I last saw him in Buffalo at the Veterans’ Welcome Home event. I appreciated his words and as always I appreciated his deep support for his fellow veterans. As a person, as a legislator, as a statesman his legacy will benefit Wyoming for generations to come. Carol and I send our condolences and our prayers to his wife and children. We will miss him. Wyoming will miss him.”

Governor Mead orders that the State of Wyoming flag be lowered to half-staff at the Capitol and in Johnson and Sheridan Counties starting today from sunrise to sunset until the day of interment to honor Senator Schiffer.