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CNN political commentator Alice Stewart dies

Alice Stewart, a veteran political consultant and CNN political commentator who worked on several GOP presidential campaigns, has died. She was 58 years old.

Law enforcement officials told CNN that Stewart’s body was found outside in the Bellevue neighborhood of northern Virginia early Saturday morning. No foul play is suspected and officers believe a medical emergency occurred.

“Alice was a dear friend and colleague to all of us at CNN,” Mark Thompson, the network’s CEO, said in an email to staff Saturday. “A political veteran and Emmy Award-winning journalist who brought an incomparable spark to CNN’s coverage, known in our offices not only for her political savvy, but also for her unwavering kindness. Our hearts are heavy as we mourn such an extraordinary loss.

Stewart was born on March 11, 1966 in Atlanta.

Stewart began her career as a local reporter and producer in Georgia before moving to Little Rock, Arkansas, to become a news anchor, she told the Harvard International Review. She then served as communications director in Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s office before taking on a similar role during his 2008 presidential campaign.

She also served as communications director for the 2012 Republican presidential bids of former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and then former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, also a former CNN commentator. Most recently, Stewart was the communications director for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 GOP campaign.

CNN hired Stewart as a political commentator before the 2016 election, and she appeared frequently on air to provide insight into the day’s political news, including as recently as Friday on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

“We always invited her to come on my show because we knew we’d be a little smarter at the end of that conversation,” Blitzer told Jessica Dean on “CNN Newsroom.” “She helped our viewers better understand what was going on and that’s why we will miss her so much.”

Suzanne Malveaux, Alice Stewart and Charles Blow inside the CNN Grill during the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  -David S. HollowaySuzanne Malveaux, Alice Stewart and Charles Blow inside the CNN Grill during the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  -David S. Holloway

Suzanne Malveaux, Alice Stewart and Charles Blow inside the CNN Grill during the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. -David S. Holloway

Speaking about her role as a commentator for the network, Stewart told Harvard Political Review in 2020 that she brings “a perspective that I think CNN appreciates.”

“My position at CNN is to be a conservative voice while also being an independent thinker,” Stewart said. “I’m not a Kool-Aid drinker; I am not a non-Trump and I did not show common sense and decency coming to the door when I voted for (Trump).”

Stewart was also a co-host of the podcast “Hot Mics From Left to Right,” alongside fellow CNN commentator Maria Cardona.

“I just can’t believe she’s gone,” Cardona said on “CNN Newsroom,” adding that the two were going to record an episode of their podcast on Saturday. “I want everyone to know what a special person she was, especially in this industry. As you know, today’s politics can be indecent and so dirty, and Alice was such a loving and shining light.

Stewart also served on the senior advisory committee of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, where she was previously a member.

In her free time, Stewart was an avid runner. She has frequently posted photos of road races on social media, including the TCS New York City Marathon, which she ran in November, and the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race, which she ran last month .

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Kayla Gallagher contributed to this report.

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