UPDATE: A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Forti family during this time. Please consider donating, if you are able: 

This morning, Colorado politics woke up to the devastating news that one of our own, Kyle Forti co-founder of political consultancy D/CO, was killed in a helicopter crash at Central Island National Park in Kenya last night. He was not yet 30, but viewed as massively talented with a bright future ahead of him. It’s safe to say that #copolitics is in mourning today. He leaves behind his wife, Hope, and son, Max, 5.

Rather than us pontificate about who Kyle was and the impact he had on the people he knew, we thought it was better to feature some of the the things that people said about Kyle as they mourned him. Needless to say, there was an outpouring of love and support for Kyle and his family.

Dede Laugesen, political operative and wife of Gazette editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen:

“So sorry to hear the news. Prayers lifted for Hope and their son…God bless and console you!”

Republican State Sen. Owen Hill:

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Rest In Peace my dear friend Kyle Forti.”

Mary Elizabeth Fabian, former GOP candidate for House District 18:

“Kyle Forti was an incredibly special man. He loved his family, life and adventure. Throughout my campaign Kyle was a calm voice and confidant, someone who could appreciate my tongue in cheek sense of humor and laugh with me when I wanted to cry or scream with frustration.

“I’m going to remember him, relaxed and talking about policy over a good drink, cracking jokes around a fire.

“Like so many, I’m devastated at the loss and for the pain his family is moving through now. But, some part of me smiles that he left this world traveling.

“Earlier this month he shared a quote from Leo DiCaprio that I smiled because he could have said it himself.

‘When I was young, I used to have this thing where I wanted to see everything. I thought, how could I possibly die without seeing every inch of this world?’

“Until we meet again, my friend….”

Sarah Bouma, former employee:

“Kyle Forti was one of the best souls that this world has ever had the privilege of knowing.”

Isaiah Hess:

“The earth lost a good man today in Kyle Forti. He was one of the best men I knew. He had a big heart; he loved others, he loved his wife Hope, and his child Max, he loved his Savior. He was a great friend to me and to everyone around him. Though I grieve his loss, I rejoice for him, for he is now in eternal glory.

“I remember all the political endeavors he and I engaged in. I fondly remember working together on various campaigns. But aside from politics, I fondly remember him as a groomsmen at my wedding and part of my bachelor party at a Colorado Rockies game in 2017. But even more, I fondly remember the man. He always had a sense of humor but graced all he did with class.

“I’ll miss you, Kyle. See you soon in glory.”

Former GOP State Rep. and current Small Business Administration Regional Administrator Dan Nordberg:

“Kyle Forti, you were the light in the darkness. A good man, a loving husband and father, and someone with a heart for the “least of these”. Rest In Peace my friend and May God’s blessings and love be with your family during this difficult time.”

Jenna Ellis, Colorado Christian University professor:

“Heartbroken to learn of the passing of my sweet friend Kyle Forti. Prayers appreciated for his dear wife Hope Forti and their son, Max. I love you all.”

Justin Longo, Independence Institute:

“The last time I saw you, Kyle Forti, I told you to keep writing the insightful, heartfelt passages you tended to write on Facebook. They were always uplifting to me. You will be greatly missed by many.”

Jeff Hunt, President, Centennial Institute:

“I screamed “NO!” When I heard the news today. Not Kyle, not Kyle. Colorado needed him. Our world needed him. He was a force for good in our culture. He was a bright light of compassion, peace, strength, kindness, and love.

“You’ll see an outpouring of support from people of all political stripes. He was loved by everyone.

“Kyle’s legacy will continue to live through the lives he’s influenced. He achieved what so many of us hope to do, he made a profound difference in this world. Thank you, Kyle. Thank you, Kyle.

“I am so grateful for his friendship and the years we were able to work together for the common good.

“Our prayers are with Hope and Max. We will stand with you through this darkest hour. You are so loved.”

His love and light are his legacy, and while we imagine his family is heartbroken, we hope his family can find some comfort in the legions of people who were touched by him.