Representative Ron Wright, Republican of Texas, died on Sunday after battling Covid-19 in the hospital, his office said on Monday. He was 67.
Mr. Wright announced on Jan. 21 that he had tested positive for the coronavirus after coming into contact earlier in the month with someone who had the virus. In the statement about Mr. Wright’s death, his office said that he and his wife, Susan, had both been hospitalized in Dallas for the past two weeks.
The statement did not confirm whether the virus caused the death of Mr. Wright, who had also been undergoing treatment for cancer.
He is the first seated member of Congress to die after battling the virus. Luke Letlow, a Louisiana Republican elected in November, died a few days before he was scheduled to be sworn in.
“Congressman Wright will be remembered as a constitutional conservative,” the congressman’s office said in a statement. “He was a statesman, not an ideologue.”
“As friends, family, and many of his constituents will know, Ron maintained his quick wit and optimism until the very end,” the statement continued. “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.”
Mr. Wright, a sixth-generation resident of Tarrant County, has represented Texas’ sixth congressional district since 2018. A former city council member, he was a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Representative Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas, said on Twitter that Mr. Wright “was a gentleman who cared deeply about public service.”
Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, said on Monday that Mr. Wright was a colleague who “led with principle, integrity, and thoughtfulness” and “emulated the very best of America.”
Prior to serving in Congress, Mr. Wright had been the chief of staff for his predecessor, Representative Joe Barton.
“Ron was not only a dedicated public servant, a principled conservative, and a proud Texan, he was also a loving father and grandfather,” Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, said in a statement. “Ron’s life is a testament to his unshakable faith and now he rests with the Lord, having fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said members of Congress are praying for Mr. Wright’s family and the loved ones of the more than 460,000 Americans who have died from the virus.
“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,” she said.