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Former State Lawmaker Chris Harris Dead at 67

Chris Harris, a smart and gruff former state legislator from Tarrant County, died early Saturday morning. He was 67.

Former state Senator Chris Harris.

Chris Harris, a smart, gruff and accomplished former state legislator from Tarrant County, died early Saturday morning, according to state Rep. Charlie Geren, a friend and former colleague. Harris was 67.

Harris, an attorney specializing in family and business law, served in the Texas House for three sessions starting in 1985 before winning a spot in the state Senate, where he served from 1991 to 2013.

His district and his assignments in the Senate changed over time. Harris came to state government from Arlington and at various times represented parts of Tarrant, Dallas, Denton, Johnson and Parker counties in the state Legislature. He came to Austin when Republicans were a small minority in the House and Senate; by the time he left, his party had overwhelming majorities in both chambers.

He served as chairman of the Senate Administration Committee for five terms, was the Senate president pro tempore in 2001, and also headed committees on jurisprudence and economic development.

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