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Texas House Seat to be Decided in July 27 Runoff Election

May 23, 2021 by Dan McCue
Susan Wright, left, and Jake Ellzey, the candidates in the special runoff election that will determine who represents the 6th Congressional District in Texas.

North Texas’s 6th Congressional District will be the next battleground in which Republicans are asked to choose between the party’s traditions and a more Trumpian future.

The state has scheduled a special runoff election on July 27, between Susan Wright and state Rep. Jake Ellzey, the two top vote-getters in a primary held on May 1.

The district, which spreads southeast from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to rural Ellis and Navarro counties, has been without representation in Congress since February, when GOP Rep. Ron Wright died following a Covid-19 diagnosis.

The race to replace him drew 23 candidates: 11 Republicans, 10 Democrats, one Libertarian and one independent. When all the votes were counted in the primary, Wright, the representative’s widow, came away with 19.2% of the vote, while Ellzey garnered 13.8%.

Under Texas law, if no candidate achieves a majority vote in a primary, a special runoff election must be held between the top two vote-getters.

Wright, who serves on the State Republican Executive Committee, received a last minute endorsement from former President Trump after focusing much of her campaign on her husband’s legacy.

Trump later participated in a tele-town hall for her two days before the primary.

Ellzey, a Navy veteran who lost to Ron Wright in the 2018 primary, currently represents a state House district south of Dallas and has had the support of former Texas governor and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

In terms of its overall politics, the 6th Congressional District has exhibited some interesting dynamics in recent years.

While Ron Wright was reelected by 9 percentage points in 2020, the 6th District has been trending more Democratic in recent elections.

In 2012, Mitt Romney carried the district with a 17-percentage point margin. Trump won it by 12 percentage points in 2016 but by only 3 last year.

On Friday, the Federal Election Commission published the financial disclosure filing dates for the race in the Federal Register.

The principal campaign committees for the two candidates must file a 12-day pre-runoff report on July 15, and a 30-day post-runoff report on August 26. 

Each of these reports are in addition to the campaign committee’s regular quarterly filings.

In addition, political committees not filing monthly in 2021 are subject to  special election reporting if they make previously undisclosed contributions or expenditures in connection with the special election.

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