A new wave of reform for the scandalized city of Bell took a tragic turn over the weekend when a well-liked City Council candidate, Miguel Alejandro Sanchez, died.

His brother says it might have been the Swine Flu that killed him. Sanchez was hospitalized Friday morning and dead by the afternoon.

On Sunday night supporters held a vigil for the 34-year-old. The city will elect new council members Tuesday.

Family members think the candidate came down with the flu, Swine or otherwise, while campaigning in the rain.

And they told KCAL9 news that a lack of health insurance coverage compounded Sanchez's illness.

He's a part timer at the L.A. Unified School District and at the Bell parks department.

Credit: Justice For Bell

Credit: Justice For Bell

Sanchez was a familiar face during the Bell revolt of last summer, when former city manager Robert Rizzo, assistant city manager Angela Spaccia, Mayor Oscar Hernandez, City Council members Luis Artiga, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal, and former City Council members George Cole and Victor Bello were charged with misappropriation of public funds — related mostly to outrageous salaries that included a reported $1.5 million take for Rizzo.

Sanchez was a protester turned candidate who was on a “Justice for Bell” slate.

Some in his family say he was under a lot of stress lately, particularly after it was reported that his campaign received a $60,000 contribution from a retired Woodland Hills businessman.

If Sanchez wins the county can appoint a replacement or a special election can be called.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.

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