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Texas Congressional District Runoff Between GOP Candidates Set for This Month

July 12, 2021 by Reece Nations
Texas Congressional District Runoff Between GOP Candidates Set for This Month
Susan Wright (left) and state Rep. Jake Ellzey (right) are running in a special election on July 27 to fill the vacancy in Texas' 6th Congressional District.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Susan Wright and state Rep. Jake Ellzey are running in a special election on July 27 to fill the vacancy in Texas’ 6th Congressional District.

The stage was set by Gov. Greg Abbott in February to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Rep. Ron Wright. Wright’s widow, Susan, appears poised to succeed him after a slew of high-profile endorsements – the most notable of which came from former President Donald Trump.

Wright took first place in the May general election for the seat with 19.2% of the vote, TWN previously reported, while Ellzey barely beat out Democratic candidate Jana Lynne Sanchez to qualify for the runoff by a margin of 13.8% to 13.4%, respectively. Because no candidate obtained 50% of the vote total, Texas law automatically triggered a runoff election to determine which candidate would fill the late Rep. Wright’s position.

Much of Susan Wright’s momentum heading into the runoff has been boosted by her slate of endorsements from Republicans currently serving in the House of Representatives. Reps. Jodey Arrington, Andy Biggs, Lance Gooden, Kay Granger, Troy Nehls, Chip Roy and Elise Stefanik all endorsed Wright’s candidacy.

Over the past three decades, Wright has worked as a district director for two Texas state representatives and has experience serving on the State Republican Executive Committee, Arlington Transportation Advisory Committee, Fort Worth Community Development Council and Tarrant County Crime Commission.

Her opponent, Ellzey, is a former United States Navy fighter pilot who currently serves in the Texas House of Representatives. Ellzey ran unsuccessfully against Ron Wright for the congressional seat in 2018 after serving as a social aide in the White House Office during the Bush administration and as a commissioner of the Texas Veterans Commission.

Democrats will not be looking to expand their tight majority in the House after their top candidate failed to qualify for the runoff, losing out to Ellzey by just 354 votes in the May general election. Ellzey has been endorsed by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who served in Trump’s cabinet as secretary of the Department of Energy.

Because both candidates are from the same party, they hold many of the same beliefs on issues important to conservative Texan voters. On both candidates’ respective campaign websites, “defending the [Second] Amendment,” “protecting the right to life,” and “securing our border” are the first issues they address.

In fact, much of the candidates’ respective platforms touch on many of the same issues, such as improving the public education system, cutting taxes and rolling back regulations for businesses. Although the candidates agree on much of the substance of the Republican legislative agenda, their approaches to the issues tend to differ.

Both candidates have chosen to carry Trump’s torch on certain issues, and his name appears on both candidates’ campaign websites. For instance, Wright has declared her intent to “[codify] the Trump tax cuts” and “continue the Trump [administration’s] commitment to finishing the [southern border] wall,” while Ellzey has vowed to protect the economy that was “booming” under Trump, now jeopardized by current administration’s “liberal agenda.”

During a May interview with North Texas conservative radio host Mark Davis, Wright said she and Ellzey diverge more on “style” than on policy. Wright said ultimately the choice voters must make at the polls will be who they trust more to deliver on their promises.

Now, it is up to the voters of Texas’ 6th Congressional District to decide which Republican they want representing them in Congress. Early voting will commence on Monday, July 19, and will end on Friday, July 23.

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