Ron Wright, a Republican congressman representing Texas’ 6th district, has died from COVID-19. His campaign staff announced the news Monday morning after he battled cancer for years and was diagnosed with the virus in January. He was 67.
Wright is the first sitting member of the U.S. Congress to die from the Coronavirus. He was in his second term in the U.S. House following two decades of service in local politics in Arlington, TX. Wright won reelection by a 9-percentage-point margin in 2020.
The Republican legislator was one of several to call for entire states, who voted in-favor of then President-Elect Biden, to be disenfranchised in the 2020 presidential election which resulted in the terrorist attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Wright supported unfounded claims of widespread fraud in the election. He joined a case before the Supreme Court demanding all the votes for president in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — states that were narrowly won by Democrats — to be thrown out, claiming that some voters there followed procedures set by the wrong state officials.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will call a special election to fill Wright’s seat. Under state law, Abbott can schedule the election for the next uniform election date which is May 1, or earlier under certain circumstances.
In a statement, Abbott said he was deeply saddened by Wright’s death.
“Ron was a principled leader who fought to preserve Texas values and was an exemplary representative of his district,” Abbott said. “His personal strength and commitment to standing up for the unborn were unwavering. He leaves behind a tremendous legacy for future generations of Texans.”
Wright gathered respect from both sides of the aisle. One of his direct colleagues, Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX), was grateful for Wright’s willingness to work with him over the course of his short time in Congress.
“We had very different views on many things, but he was a man of principle and will be missed,” Allred said.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) called Wright “a passionate public servant and a strong advocate for Texas values, his neighbors in North Texas, and constituents across Texas’ 6th District.”