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AUSTIN (AP) – Texas Insurance Commissioner David Mattax has died of cancer.

Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement Thursday that he was mourning “the loss of a friend, a colleague and a distinguished public servant” who “truly dedicated his life and career to the state of Texas.”

Abbott appointed Mattax insurance commissioner — tasked with overseeing Texas’ insurance industry — in 2015.

Mattax previously spent 23 years in the attorney general’s office, including litigating high-profile redistricting cases while Abbott was serving as attorney general until being elected governor.

Abbott’s successor as attorney general, Ken Paxton, said in his own statement that Mattax “made everywhere he worked a better place and impacted the lives of the people with whom he worked.”

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