Former assemblyman and long-time Bakersfield Republican leader Joe Shell died this morning in his Bakersfield home.
He was 89.
His wife, former Bakersfield mayor and 5th District Supervisor Mary Kay Shell, said Shell passed away peacefully at about 6 a.m.
He had been in declining health since breaking some ribs in January, she said. That injury came after he broke a hip some months previously.
Joe Shell represented parts of Los Angeles County in the state Assembly in the early 1950's and 60's and in 1962 opposed Richard Nixon for the Republican nomination for the state's governorship. Nixon won the nomination but lost in the general election.
Funeral services are pending.
KGET will have a full report tonight on 17News @ 5 and 6.