Transportation Commission Chairman Williamson Dies of Heart Attack

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DALLAS (AP) - Officials say Texas Transportation Commission Chairman and former longtime state lawmaker Ric Williamson died Sunday of an apparent heart attack. He was 55.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Chris Lippincott says that Williamson died early this morning at Weatherford Regional Medical Center.

Governor Rick Perry said Williamson was a longtime friend who will be greatly missed.

The two were conservative Democrat colleagues in the Texas House during 1980s. Both later joined the GOP.

Williamson served in the Legislature for more than 20 years.

Perry named Williamson to the transportation commission in 2001, and he became chairman in 2004.

The five-member commission oversees the Texas Department of Transportation.