Burke's body was reportedly discovered Tuesday evening during a welfare check by Healdsburg police.
Healdsburg Mayor Osvaldo Jimenez calls the loss 'heartbreaking' and says he is "still processing."
In January Burke had announced his candidacy for county sheriff, seeking to succeed Mark Essick in the June 7th primary election. Burke, 55 withdrew from the race two month later, citing health issues.
Initial reports suggest suicide as the cause.
Assistant Sheriff Eddie Engram posted on social media that Burke's "unexpected death is a tragedy and I am heartbroken for his family. My sincerest condolences go out to Kevin’s family, friends, and colleagues during this incredibly difficult time."
Dave Edmonds, who like Engram is seeking the sheriff's office, offered his "deepest, profoundest condolences to Kevin Burke and his family."