Chris Dillard was a Republican political consultant who killed himself outside of U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne’s home in Irving, Texas. He was remembered as a committed and patriotic conservative by colleagues.
Richard Christian “Chris” Dillard, 55, worked on Van Duyne’s campaign for Congress, serving as her communication director, according to his LinkedIn page. Initially, Irving police said only that there was “an incident today at Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne’s residence where an unidentified male committed suicide.” The suicide occurred on February 10, 2021. They later identified Dillard as the person who died.
Van Duyne is a former mayor who serves in the U.S. House of Texas, 24th Congressional District.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Dillard Posted Photos Showing Him With Van Duyne & Also Served in a Public Affairs Capacity for the Texas State Guard
According to WFAA-TV, Van Duyne was at home when Dillard killed himself, and she heard the shooting but didn’t witness it. Police are still looking into the motive.
Dillard posted a photo showing him with the congresswoman in November. A woman wrote in the thread, “Congratulations Beth!! 🎉🎉 Chris great job getting it done and having us call all her groups making sure she gets the WIN those last several days! So full of JoY!”
Another photo showed him with Van Duyne and Nikki Haley. Other photos show him with Texas GOP Chairman Allen West.
On LinkedIn, Dillard wrote that he was a political consultant and target media producer who was self-employed. He worked at that position for 12 years in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and said he provided “specialized media, training, and consulting.”
He served as a public affairs officer for 1st Brigade headquarters for the Texas State Guard, a position he held since April 2020. Before that, he was the Communications director for Beth Van Duyne for Congress, holding the post for six months from November 2019 through April 2020.
He was also a director of advanced technology for Advanced Concept Timeshares, a consulting specialist for Fry’s Electronics, media producer/director for Kingdom Global Ministries producing a Youtube series, communications director for graphics2, youth outreach director for Dallas iMedia, and a software instructor.
According to Van Duyne’s bio, “After graduating magna cum laude from Cornell University, Beth moved to Irving, Texas, which has been her home for over 30 years. Single mother to Katie and Pearce, Beth was only the second Republican woman from Texas to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.”
2. Dillard Was Remembered as a ‘Consummate Activist’
Politicians and others posted tributes to Dillard on Facebook.
“Death is a part of life. But, it seems recently that its inevitability is accelerating for those who you would not expect. Very saddened to learn of the passing of Chris Dillard. He was a consummate activist, volunteering his time in numerous ways for numerous causes. And always did so with a smile,” wrote Texas state Rep. Matt Krause.
“I appreciated Chris, because he was not afraid to keep me accountable as an elected official. He would constantly challenge me where he felt I had been out of line. But, he would also be there to encourage when he thought I was on the right track. It is such a blessing to have someone like that in your life. RIP Chris. May your memory be a blessing for family and loved ones left behind.”
3. One Friend Called Dillard ‘Texasaurus,’ Remembering His Devotion to Football, Military, Patriotism & Service
A friend, Chris Betts, wrote, “Going to miss our Texasaurus pretty bad. Chris Dillard passed away, be it football, military, patriotism, or service, Chris was always there to serve and give back, no questions, no requirements, just whatever he could do to serve his fellow humans. proud to know you dude. Not much else to say because everyone knew Chris, everyone loved Chris, and its hard to explain someone so undefinable. I’ll miss ya buddy.”
A woman responded on that thread, “Noooo not our Chris Dillard. God gained an angel!! Such a kind and courageous Patriot! Can’t be true!! I don’t want to believe it!!”
Another woman wrote, “To know him was to love him… as you said, Chris Betts~ he got everything with him tremendous intellect and humor.”
4. Dillard Jokingly Called Himself a ‘Meme-Stealing Deplorable Conservative’ on His Facebook Page
In Facebook, Dillard described himself as a “meme-stealing Deplorable Conservative at Conservative Politics.” He added for good measure, “OK to follow me. I won’t tell your mom. Unless you’re vegan or a socialist. Then you can bugger off.”
In April 2020, he wrote on Facebook, “Happy to report I’ve been promoted to Warrant Officer (W01) in the Texas State Guard— and even more delighted that my family was able to attend the ceremony today. #TXSG.”
His posts on Facebook often veered humorous or political. Grapevine Texas Stop the Steal rally and walk, he captioned one series of photos. On social media, Dillard didn’t give any indication that anything was wrong. His Instagram page was privatized.
5. Dillard, Who Had a Media-Related Degree, Served as a State Delegate for the Republican Party in Texas
Dillard had a degree in applied technology and performance improvement, teaching/applied technology from the University of North Texas. He was the president of the Conservative Students Club.
He had an associate’s degree in radio, television, and digital communication from North Lake College. He was also involved in the Tarrant County Republican Party, serving as a state delegate to four state conventions.
He volunteered as a foster person with the Miniature Schnauzer Rescue of North Texas organization.
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