Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX) passed away on Sunday after being diagnosed with COVID-19 several weeks ago, his spokesman Matt Langston said.
“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's office said in a statement.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that Rep. Wright "emulated the very best of America."
"I was honored to have met Ron before he was a member and saw firsthand how he served his community," McCarthy went on to say. "For Ron, public service was more than a job, it was a calling. The difference he was able to make over the past two decades will continue to live on in every life he impacted."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the House "sadly mourns" Wright's passing: "While his tenure in the House was brief, his service will be missed."
"May it be a comfort to Congressman Wright’s wife Susan, their children Rachel, Derek and Justin, and their nine grandchildren, and the entire Wright family that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time," Pelosi added.
Pelosi later led the House in a moment of silence in his memory.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Monday said that he was "deeply saddened" to learn of Wright's death.
"Ron was a principled leader who fought to preserve Texas values and was an exemplary representative of his district," Gov. 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. Cecilia and I send our prayers to Ron's wife, Susan, his family and loved ones."
A short time later, Texas Sen. John Cornyn issued a statement saying Wright "was a passionate public servant and a strong advocate for Texas values, his neighbors in North Texas, and constituents across Texas’ 6th District."
"A sixth-generation resident of Tarrant County, he was a Texan first and foremost, and we saw that every day as he put his community first," Sen. Cornyn added. "My heart goes out to his wife, Susan, and his children and grandchildren, whom I hope find solace in his legacy of service."
Wright, an Arlington Republican, said in the statement issued by his office that he was informed of his positive test results in January after he was exposed to an infected person. He was quarantined.
Wright was hospitalized last year for complications from lung cancer.
In 2018, Wright defeated Democrat Dana Lynne Sanchez for the House of Representatives in Texas’s 6th congressional district.
In December 2020, Wright was among the 126 House Republican representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
Prior to serving in Congress, Wright served on the Arlington City Council, was mayor pro-tem of Arlington from 2004-2008, and was chief of staff and district director for Rep. Joe Barton, whom he succeeded in the House of Representatives.
Wright was also Tarrant County tax assessor-collector from 2011-2018.
Rep. Wright was 67.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.