John Rico; State Republican Party Official, AIDS Activist
John Rico, 45, a Republican Party official in California and the state of Washington. A native of Visalia who was educated at San Jose State, Rico worked in the national headquarters of the Reagan for President campaign in Los Angeles in 1979, and then operated his own campaign management firm for three years. In Sacramento, he worked for the state Assembly and later Senate Republican caucuses and was political director of the California Republican Party for two years. From 1985 to 1991, Rico served as chief of staff for the Washington state Senate. After he was found to have AIDS in 1991, Rico went public with his disease and became an AIDS activist. He was named to the Washington governor’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and testified on legislation to protect homosexuals from discrimination. A dinner given in Rico’s honor by Republican leaders in 1993 raised funds for Northwest AIDS Foundation. On Saturday in Olympia, Wash., of complications of AIDS.