Representative Ron Wright (R-TX) has died after two weeks in the hospital with COVID-19, his office announced Monday, making him the first sitting member of Congress to die from the disease.
Wright, 67, was hospitalized in September for complications related to lung cancer before later testing positive for the novel coronavirus on January 21.
For the previous two weeks, Wright and his wife had been admitted to Baylor Hospital in Dallas after coming in contact with someone who had the virus while in Washington. Wright was also being treated for a second bout of stage 4 lung cancer he announced July 29, 2019.
The Congressman was a lifelong Texan known as a constitutional conservative and has represented the 6th Congressional District since 2018, which includes southeast Tarrant County, including most of Arlington and Mansfield, and all of Ellis and Navarro counties.
A statement from his office read, “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, or to offer fatherly advice.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called Wright a “principled leader who fought to preserve ‘Texas values” and an exemplary representative of his district.”
U.S. Rep. Roger Williams added that besides mourning the loss of a dear friend, the halls of the Capitol won’t be the same without Wright’s “signature bowtie and warm personality.”
The congressman is survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter and nine grandchildren.