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Obama campaign staff member collapses, dies

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CHICAGO >> A staff member for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign died today after collapsing at the campaign’s Chicago headquarters, campaign officials said.

Alex Okrent, 29, worked in the campaign’s paid media department, which handles advertising. 

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that paramedics treated Okrent at the campaign headquarters and took him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Obama’s campaign said the president called Okrent’s parents to offer his condolences. Okrent was a field organizer on Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign and then worked on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. The president later spoke with other campaign staffers in a conference call to offer his condolences.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered his condolences on Twitter, saying he and his wife, Ann, “were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alex Okrent. Prayers are with Alex’s loved ones and the entire Obama campaign team.”

Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod said on Twitter that Okrent was a “beloved member of our team. It’s been a very emotional day.”

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