Texas Insurance Commissioner David Mattax has passed away following a battle with cancer, Gov. Greg Abbott announced.
Mattax took over as commissioner in 2015 after serving for 23 years in the Texas Attorney General’s office under then-Attorney General Abbott, most recently as deputy attorney general for defense litigation, and previously as director of defense litigation and chief of the financial litigation division.
In a statement on the governor’s website, Abbott said: “Today Cecilia and I mourn the loss of a friend, colleague, and distinguished public servant. Commissioner David Mattax truly dedicated his life and career to the State of Texas. A brilliant lawyer whose loyalty to Texas never wavered, David was a doting son and brother who took great pride in mentoring young lawyers who would become the leaders of tomorrow. David’s brilliance, wit, and wisdom will be dearly missed by all who knew him. Cecilia and I extend our deepest sympathies and prayers to the Mattax family.”
Mattax has served as insurance commissioner since January 2015, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Rick Perry to replace Julia Rathgeber who resigned to become deputy chief of staff for Gov. Abbott. He was reappointed earlier this year for a term that would have expired on Feb. 1, 2019.
Mattax had held a number of leadership positions at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and was serving this year as secretary-treasurer of the NAIC.
Mattax was a member of the State Bar of Texas and admitted to practice before the Texas Federal District courts, Fourth and Fifth Circuit U.S. courts of Appeal and U.S. Supreme Court.
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