Fort Worth Sen. Wendy Davis said she was by her father's side when he passed away early Thursday.
Davis spent much of the last two weeks caring for her ailing father, 77-year-old Jerry Russell. He was in critical condition at a local hospital following complications from a surgery.
She announced his passing on Facebook.
"I am heartbroken to report that my father, Jerry Russell, passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning. He was surrounded by his children and his wife, our stepmom, Suzi. During his time in the hospital, there was never a moment that one of us wasn't by his side. We, and the community, will forever be grateful for the significant impact he made on our lives. He and his warm, sparkling brown eyes will be deeply missed. My family and I thank you for surrounding us with your prayers and comfort during this time."
Russell was a theater pioneer. He was an actor, director, producer and businessman and founded Stage West in Fort Worth.
Davis delayed announcements about her future political career because of her father. She said she wanted to concentrate on caring for him and had hoped he would be able to join her when she does announce her plans.
The Democrat lawmaker gained national fame earlier this year after a filibuster of a late-term abortion bill. Many supporters are now calling for her to run for Texas governor.
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