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Texas leaders react to the passing of Rep. Ron Wright

Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 10:05 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Lawmakers are mourning the death of sitting Texas Republican Congressman Ron Wright (R-TX). Wright died at the age of 67, just weeks after contracting coronavirus. His press team said he had also been battling cancer the past two years.

In a statement, Wright’s press team reported he and his wife were admitted to Baylor Hospital in Dallas to fight the virus. On Sunday, Wright passed away.

Wright (R-TX) was involved in local and federal politics for two decades. He began his political career in 2000, spending 11 years working for former Congressman Joe Barton from the 6th Congressional District as his Chief of Staff and District Director. After Barton retired, he won the seat in 2018. Wright was sworn into his second Congressional term January 3 and tested positive for COVID-19 on the Jan. 21. Barton shared memories of the passing of his friend.

“He was a very level-headed guy, very down to Earth, humble, very concerned, a good listener, he didn’t have a big ego, he was not a yes a man, he would tell you if he thought you were doing something you shouldn’t be doing,” said Barton.

Central Texas’ Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX), who knew Wright for 30 years, said he and others in the Texas Republican delegation prayed together Friday when they learned Wright was not doing well. Williams was especially connected with Wright when he was a tax assessor in Tarrant County.

“Being tax assessor of this county opened him up to a lot of people who got to understand what a good man he was, what a compassionate man he was and so forth. He’s one of those, I don’t think you’ll replace him, you’re not going to replace him, he set a pretty good bar for people to follow,” said Williams.

More than 70 lawmakers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and Louisiana Congressman-elect Luke Letlow (R-LA) passed away in December after contracting coronavirus.

Wright’s passing now leaves Texas’ 6th Congressional district seat open.

Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) has the authority to call a special election. Former Congressman Barton said he predicts it will be a competitive election.

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