Republicans Susan Wright and state Rep. Jake Ellzey have advanced to a runoff in Texas’ 6th Congressional District special election to replace the late Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX), following his death earlier this year from COVID-19.
Susan Wright, who is a veteran GOP activist and serves on the State Republican Executive Committee, led the race with 19% of the vote. Ellzey, a leading Republican fundraiser, received nearly 14% of the vote.
Ellzey had been locked in a tight race for second candidate in the runoff against Democrat Lynne Sanchez, who conceded the race on Sunday after receiving about 13% of the vote and merely falling short of qualifying for the runoff.
A scheduled date for the runoff has yet to be announced.
The race to fill the late lawmaker’s seat drew 23 candidates: 11 Republicans, 10 Democrats, one Libertarian and one independent.
Texas’ 6th Congressional District covers the Dallas-Fort Worth area in addition to rural Ellis and Navarro counties.
The advancement of two Republicans in the congressional district’s upcoming runoff eliminates the chance for House Democrats to expand their narrow majority.
Susan Wright’s candidacy for her late husband’s seat drew attention last week when she gained former President Trump’s endorsement over the ten other Republicans in the race. Trump’s public support of the late lawmaker’s widow was announced on the second-to-last day of early voting.
Ellzey is a Navy Veteran who lost to Ron Wright in the 2018 primary and has had the support of former Texas governor and Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
According to the Texas Tribune, Texas’ 6th Congressional District was previously known as a Republican stronghold, but has recently trended more in favor of Democrats in statewide election results. Trump narrowly won the district during the November general election by only 3 percentage points. Ron Wright won-reelection by 9 points last year.