Trump-endorsed Susan Wright lost her runoff Tuesday in Texas’ 6th congressional district, falling short to her opponent, state Rep. Jake Ellzey, in her bid to succeed her late husband in Congress.
Despite being the favorite to succeed the late Rep. Ron Wright after he died from complications due to COVID-19 in February, Wright fell to Ellzey who had 53% with nearly 100% of the ballots counted, according to Associated Press elections data.
Former President Donald Trump and over 100 members of his administration first endorsed Wright in late April, shortly before the special election on May 1, and sent multiple statements urging eligible Texans to vote for her.
Though Trump and high-profile Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz endorsed Wright, the runoff divided Republicans across the state, with many opting to endorse Ellzey, a former Navy pilot. He was supported by former elected officials like Republican Gov. Rick Perry and lawmakers like Rep. Dan Crenshaw.
While Wright bested Ellzey in the May 1 special election, she only won with 19% of the vote due to the size of the field. Ellzey finished second with 14%, beating the leading Democrat by just over 300 votes and thus securing an all-GOP runoff.
Despite Ellzey’s second-place finish in May, his profile rose in the months before the runoff. He outspent Wright throughout the race, and through July 7 raised over $1.2 million compared to Wright’s $454,000. (RELATED: Republicans Win Big In Texas Mayoral Races With Increased Latino Support)
Ellzey also had a wider breadth of support, including from Stephen Daniel, the Democratic nominee in the district in the 2020 election.
“Since my only choices are Rs, I am voting for @JakeEllzey in the upcoming runoff,” Daniel tweeted.
Since my only choices are Rs, I am voting for @JakeEllzey in the upcoming runoff. Ds may be the deciding factor in this election and we need to do everything we can to make sure the Trump-endorsed Susan Wright loses.
Also, @SenTedCruz is against Ellzey. Good enough for me.
— Stephen Daniel (@stephendaniel) May 3, 2021
“Republicans want a real conservative who will actually show up, not a serial opportunist with a record of missing votes and supporting higher taxes,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh in a statement.
It is unclear exactly when Ellzey will be sworn in by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, since the House is set to begin its August recess at the end of this week and is not scheduled to return until after Labor Day weekend.
Another contentious runoff is slated for Aug. 3 in Ohio’s 11th congressional district, where Democrats have split their support between Nina Turner, a Sen. Bernie Sanders-aligned progressive, and Shontel Brown, a moderate Cuyahoga County council representative.
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