AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Jack Hightower, a Democrat who also served a decade in Congress under three different presidents, has died. He was 86.

Osler McCarthy, a spokesman for the state s high court, said Hightower died Saturday in Austin. McCarthy said Hightower had Parkinson s disease.

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson said the state has lost a true champion among its public servants.

Hightower began his political career in both the state House and Senate before being elected to Congress in 1975. He won a seat on the court in 1988 and stayed until 1996, and remains the state s last justice with legislative experience.

Hightower is survived by his wife, Colleen, and three daughters.

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