Rep. Ron Wright died Sunday from complications of COVID-19, after having tested positive for the virus on Jan. 21.
The 67-year-old Texas Republican had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer the past few years, which put him in the high risk category for experiencing more severe symptoms of COVID-19.
Wright’s office confirmed his death in a statement Monday that said he died Sunday with his wife Susan by his side.
“For the previous two weeks, Ron and Susan had been admitted to Baylor Hospital in Dallas after contracting COVID-19,” the statement said.
Wright is the second person elected to the 117th Congress to die from COVID-19 complications. Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, a Louisiana Republican, died of complications from the virus on Dec. 29, just five days before he was set to be sworn in as a member of the House. Letlow’s widow is running in the special election to fill his seat.
Wright was serving his second term in Congress, after first being elected to Texas’ 6th District in 2018.
He announced Jan. 21 that he had tested positive that morning for COVID-19 after contact the week prior with an individual who had the virus and that he had been in quarantine since the Friday before his positive diagnosis.
At the time Wright said he was “experiencing minor symptoms, but overall, I feel okay.”
With Wright’s office saying he and his wife had been admitted to the hospital for two weeks, the timeline suggest he had been admitted roughly a few days after his diagnosis.
“Congressman Wright will be remembered as a constitutional conservative,” the statement from his office 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.”
The statement also noted Wright’s “wit and optimism,” his work ethic, even through “years of painful, sometimes debilitating treatment for cancer,” and his efforts to motivate others.
One of Wright’s fellow Texas Republicans, Rep. Chip Roy, issued a statement alluding to his colleague’s good nature and “commitment to public service,” and referenced their shared experience as cancer survivors. As a nod to Wright’s signature neck-wear, Roy said “I will endeavor to wear a bow tie every now and then just to remember my happy and faithful friend.”
Wright is survived by his wife Susan; his son Derek, his son Justin and daughter-in-law Susan, his daughter Rachel and son-in-law Jeff, and nine grandchildren, according to his office.