EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Politicians on both sides of the aisle are mourning the loss of their friend and colleague John A. Holmes Jr., a former chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party.

Holmes’ family confirmed he died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday at the age of 74.

“I mourn the passing of my personal friend, John Holmes, who served the Rhode Island Republican Party with honor, dignity and integrity,” Democratic State House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi said. “John was always a gentleman, had a great sense of humor, and was a worthy adversary who treated everyone with great respect.”

We are saddened to hear about the passing of former Chairman John Holmes, and the entire Republican Party of Rhode Island sends heartfelt condolences to his family,” said State GOP Chairman Joe Powers. “We thank him for his commitment and service to the Republican Party of Rhode Island.”

Holmes is credited with playing an instrumental role in former Governor Lincoln Almond’s successful 1994 campaign.