Ward 4 D.C. Council candidate A.J. Cooper died of a heart attack this morning, according to his family.

Cooper collapsed from a heart attack this morning while leaving for his job, according to his aunt, Peggy Cooper CafritzCourtenay Miller, who is married to Cooper’s mother, confirmed his death.

Cooper, 34, launched his campaign for the special election for the Council seat being vacated by Muriel Bowser‘s election as mayor just days after her victory last month. Cooper, who was active in urban farming and anti-teen pregnancy efforts, ran unsuccessfully in the 2012 at-large race.

Cooper felt sick enough on Saturday that he couldn’t attend a family party, according to Cafritz. By Sunday, though, Cooper participated in a protest over Michael Brown‘s shooting in Ferguson, Mo.

“He was still feeling sick as a dog, but he never thought it was anything more than the flu,” Cafritz says.

No funeral arrangements have been made yet, according to Cafritz.

Photo courtesy of Elect A.J. Cooper