Two Republicans are leading in, likely shutting out Democrats out from from competing in the runoff in what they hoped would be a competitive seat in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs.
Susan Wright was the top vote-getter on Saturday night. Her husband, Ron Wright, previously held the seat before dying from COVID-19 and a battle with lung cancer.
“I can't tell you how honored I am to be the first-place finisher in this special election to succeed my husband Ron,” she said in a statement. Wright was boosted in the last week of the campaign with an endorsement from former President Trump on Monday. She already had backing from local party officials and other Texas Republican Congressmembers.
“Congratulations to Susan Wright on her great surge yesterday which made her NUMBER ONE,” Mr. Trump said Sunday in a statement. “Susan surged after I gave her an endorsement last week. Her wonderful husband is looking down, and is very proud of her!”
As of Sunday afternoon with 99% of the vote tallied, Republican Texas state Representative Jake Ellzey was in second place, leading Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez by less than 400 votes. Sanchez issued a concession letter on Sunday.
Twenty-three candidates, including 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, ran in the open primary. Wright and Ellzey advancing forward marked a loss for the anti-Trump wing of the Republican Party, aftergot just 3.19% of the vote.
Wood was backed by Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, and was a self-proclaimed anti-Trump candidate.
Dan Rodimer, a former WWE wrestler and Nevada congressional candidate in 2020, made a splash when he rode a bull and sported a Texas accent in his campaign launch. He got 2.66% of the vote.
The Republican shut out is a missed opportunity for Democrats, who pointed to changing demographics in districts like the 6th as a reason Texas could turn blue down the line. President Biden lost the seat by just 3 points.
National Democrat involvement was absent in the race, except for an endorsement for Sanchez by BOLD PAC, the campaign arm for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Sanchez was the Democratic candidate in 2018, and lost to Ron Wright by 7.7 points.
“Democrats have come a long way toward competing in Texas but we still have a way to go. Unfortunately, we came up short,” she said in a statement.
The race now turns to a Republican runoff, which will take place at a to-be-determined date after May 24. Wright's campaign already targeted Ellzey in a statement on Saturday night.
“Ellzey is now winless 0-3 against the Wright family after second place finishes to Ron in the 2018 primary, Ron in the 2018 runoff, and now Susan in the 2021 special,” said Wright campaign consultant Matt Langston. “He's going to make it a clean 0-4 sweep next month in the runoff.”
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