JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) -- A passion for politics, but more so a passion to serve others, lead Josh Rodriquez to run for Jeffersonville City Council in 2015. He won after a contentious recount and Mayor Mike Moore said Rodriquez went right to work.
"Josh really had a gift for working alongside residents and projects in the neighborhoods," Mayor Moore told WHAS11.
Rodriquez was taken to the hospital for a heart related issue on March 4, the same day he was named chairman of the Clark County Democratic Party. Mayor Moore spoke to Rodriquez Tuesday, a day before he died.
"He just wanted to thank me for coming by and visiting him in the hospital," he said.
Rodriquez had the nickname 'Neighborhood Josh' for his work in various Jeffersonville communities. He was a co-founder of the Jeffersonville Neighborhood Leadership Alliance, which built a community garden.
"He was always a Jeffersonville champion. I mean, that's what he wanted. He wanted Jeffersonville to be the very best it could be," said Deborah Henderson.
She's a Neighborhood Leadership Alliance member. She knew Rodriquez before his time on the city council and said he always had the drive to make a difference.
"A catchphrase of Josh was, ‘we got this.’ And I think all of us are feeling today, we got this. It's going to take a little bit of time, but we got this and we are going to continue his work," Henderson said.
"Five years from now Josh is still going to be recognized as somebody who got his hands dirty and got involved in the community," said Mayor Moore.
The Clark County Democratic Party will have to select another party chairman. That will be put up for a vote among its members. Rodriquez was an at-large city council member, so there will be a city-wide vote to name his replacement. Mayor Moore expects those decisions will likely be made by the summer.
Rodriquez leaves behind a wife and three children.
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