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North Texas Congressman Ron Wright Dies After Testing Positive For COVID-19

Ron Wright addresses primary voters at an Arlington Republican Club event in 2018. He won a runoff primary against Republican Jake Ellzey and then beat Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez to win an open seat in Congress.
Christopher Connelly | KERA News
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Ron Wright addresses primary voters at an Arlington Republican Club event in 2018. He won a runoff primary against Republican Jake Ellzey and then beat Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez to win an open seat in Congress.

Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, who rose through the ranks of local politics to become a Congress member for North Texas, has died.

He had contracted COVID-19 and was being treated for lung cancer. He was 67.

Wright died Sunday. The cause of death wasn't immediately released, but he and his wife had been admitted to a Dallas hospital in recent weeks due to COVID-19. Wright had announced in January that he had tested positive.

A statement issued by Wright's Congressional office said he “will be remembered as a constitutional conservative. He was a statesman, not an ideologue.” Wright fought “for individual freedom, Texas values, and above all, the lives of the unborn.”

Wright represented the 6th Congressional District, which includes Ellis and Navarro counties, as well as parts of Tarrant County, and was first elected in 2018. He earlier served on the Arlington City Council and worked for U.S. Rep. Joe Barton. In 2012, Wright was elected Tarrant County's tax assessor-collector.

The statement from his Congressional office said that "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. For the previous two weeks, Ron and Susan had been admitted to Baylor Hospital in Dallas after contracting COVID-19.”

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said that Wright “was a principled leader who fought to preserve Texas values and was an exemplary representative of his district.”

“His personal strength and commitment to standing up for the unborn were unwavering. He leaves behind a tremendous legacy for future generations of Texans.”

Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn said Wright was “a Texan first and foremost” and “a passionate public servant and a strong advocate for Texas values, his neighbors in North Texas, and constituents across Texas’ 6th District.”

The 6th Congressional District includes Arlington and other parts of Tarrant County and stretches into the rural areas south of North Texas, including Waxahachie and Corsicana.

Jana Lynne Sanchez, Congressman Wright’s 2018 opponent, said "while we shared our differences, we both ran for Congress for the same reason: to fight for the people of North Texas. He served with passion while battling cancer and a deadly virus that has claimed far too many lives far too soon.”

Wright's Bio

  • A sixth-generation resident of Tarrant County. Graduated from Azle High School in 1971; moved to Arlington to attend UT-Arlington.

  • Served on the Arlington City Council from 2000 to 2008. District director for U.S. Rep. Joe Barton from 2000 to 2009 and was Barton's chief of staff from 2009 to 2011. In 2011, Wright accepted an appointment to be Tarrant County's tax assessor-collector of Tarrant County; elected to the position in 2012, re-elected in 2016; elected to Congress in 2018.


Source: Wright's Congressional office

This is a developing story and will be updated. The Associated Press and Texas Tribune contributed to this report.

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