A special election for the seat of the House of Representatives in the Sixth Congressional District of Texas will result in a runoff that will likely see two Republicans in a race that will affect the 2022 halftime and post-Trump Republican Party.
The special election was scheduled following the death of former MP Ron Wright (R-TX) due to Covid-19. Voters for the district, which is in the suburbs of Tarrant County outside of Fort Worth, voted Saturday to vote from 23 candidates in an all-party election.
Susan Wright, the late Congressman’s widow and longtime Republican activist in the district, will advance to the runoff after 19.21 percent of the vote, according to The Texas Tribune. Although all votes have been cast, the second-placed winner, who will run against Wright in the runoff election, has not been appointed until Sunday morning – Republican MP Jake Ellzey and Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez are just under 13.39 percent with 13.85 percent.
Former MP Ron Wright at a March 2019 hearing. Bill Clark / CQ appeal
Overall, Republican candidates received around 62 percent of the vote, while Democrats earned around 37 percent. 78,374 votes were cast – a long way from election day in 2020 when 339,992 voters cast ballots in the house race, according to the New York Times.
The low turnout could explain the Democrats’ disappointing performance in what was probably the only opportunity on this year’s calendar to increase their close house majority from 222 to 213.
Seven special elections were scheduled this year – with a rating of R + 6 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index, the Texas election was the only one expected to be competitive.
Texas Sixth Ward is one of the areas where recent voting patterns and demographic change have drawn the Democratic Party to the Lone Star state. After being a virtual ban on the GOP for years, the district moved from John McCain 15 points in the 2008 presidential election to Trump in 2020, just three points ahead.
The Democrats’ rosy predictions for Texas didn’t hold out in 2020, suggesting they still have some work to do to convert Latin and black population growth into support and votes.
With such a narrow majority, catching up for the Democrats would have been vital as they headed into 2022, with major drawbacks including the President’s party – historically an omen of bad luck – and exclusion from the restructuring process in key states, including Texas, where Republicans are given the opportunity to draw congressional cards that are beneficial to their interests.
The DCCC et. al. will get some flak to sleep on # TX06, which leads to this poor display. But strategically, they were right not to throw away millions: TX Rs will be able to redraw it before 2022, so it doesn’t matter to the majority.
– Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) May 2, 2021
But if the current number of votes is correct, there will be two Republican candidates in the runoff.
The special election was an important test for the GOP as well and the Republicans’ first chance to compete with one another in a post-Trump world.
Wright, who won the most votes and will run in the runoff, received last-minute confirmation from Trump just five days before the election.
“Susan Wright is going to be a great TX-06 Congresswoman for the Great State of Texas,” Trump said in a statement according to The Texas Tribune. “She is the wife of the late Congressman Ron Wright, who has always supported our America First Policies.”
But Wright was far from the most devoted Trump acolyte in the race. Among the 11 Republicans was Brian Harrison, who worked in the Trump administration as chief of staff to former Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Sery Kim, who worked in the Trump administration’s women’s business office and where he talked about your praise for former President Travis Rodermund, who focused his campaign on gun rights and building the border wall, and Dan Rodimer, a professional wrestler Trump supported in a previous race.
Although Wright was the candidate Trump endorsed, and when it comes to anti-abortion, anti-immigrant and anti-federal electoral or voting laws, she certainly wasn’t the group’s Trumpian. Same goes for Ellzey, who is currently runner-up and will likely face Wright in the runoff election. While speaking on similar GOP issues, Ellzey has been criticized as anti-immigrant by Wright, criticized as not conservative enough by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and rejected by the Anti-Tax Club for Growth, which has spent six-figure figures, according to The Texas Tribune Numbers of attack reports against him.
The runoff election is not yet planned.