GOP Rep. Ron Wight (TX-R) has died after a recent battle with coronavirus. In a statement on Monday, his office said Wright “passed away peacefully.”
Wright tested positive for COVID-19 last month and was admitted to the Baylor Hospital in Dallas two weeks ago. Aged 67, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018 and had been hospitalized last September for complications related to his cancer treatments.
Wright is the first sitting member of Congress to die of COVID-19. Texas will eventually hold a special election to choose Wright’s successor in Texas’ 6th District, which sits in Tarrant County outside of Dallas.
“Over the past few years, Congressman Wright had kept a rigorous work schedule on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and at home in Texas’ Congressional District 6 while being treated for cancer,” the statement reads. “As friends, family, and many of his constituents will know, Ron maintained his quick wit and optimism until the very end. Despite years of painful, sometimes debilitating treatment for cancer, Ron never lacked the desire to get up and go to work, to motivate those around him, or to offer fatherly advice.”
Wright was first elected to represent Texas’ 6th congressional district in 2018 and was re-elected this past November by a 9-percentage-point margin. He was known as a staunch constitutional conservative and member of the Freedom Caucus. Prior to serving in Congress, Wright was on the Arlington City Council for eight years, between 2004-08 he held the position of mayor pro tempore, and in 2011 became Tarrant County tax assessor-collector. During his tenure, his office added the motto “In God We Trust” to tax assessment stationery.
“Congressman Wright will be remembered as a constitutional conservative,” the statement said. “He was a statesman, not an ideologue. Ron and Susan dedicated their lives to fighting for individual freedom, Texas values, and above all, the lives of the unborn.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (TX-R) made a statement in which he extended his condolences to the Wright family on Monday, calling the Republican lawmaker “a principled leader who fought to preserve Texas values and was an exemplary representative of his district.”
Lawmakers across the nation have expressed their heartfelt condolences.