Mark Abernathy, a prominent Kern County Republican political consultant, died Saturday after a brief illness, according to posts on Facebook.
Since 1984, Abernathy has been the CEO of Western Pacific Research, a political and business consulting company, which has helped lead people including Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh, Bakersfield City Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan and Rep. Kevin McCarthy to victory.
"He loved his Lord, country, family, politics and baseball (the last two not necessarily in that order). We love him and miss him; we know you loved him too," daughter Maggie Abernathy said in a Facebook post.
Many people responded with their condolences and reflections on the difference he made in their lives.
Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner said via text he was deeply saddened by the loss of his friend.
"Mark was a giant in Republican politics, not just in Kern County and California, but across the nation. He cared deeply for our country, especially for the future of our youth, and he was a champion for freedom and liberty," Scrivner said.
The Californian plans a full obituary in Tuesday's edition.