Candidates Susan Wright and Jake Ellzey claimed the two runoff spots. This ensures that the GOP retains the seat vacated by the deceased Representative Ron Wright.
Susan Wright and Jake Ellzey
Susan Wright, the widow of the late congressman and party mate Jake Ellzey captured the two slots in a free-for-all involving all parties. Wright and Ellzey will now face off in the yet-unscheduled runoff election.
Wright won the first slot as early as Saturday. The Associated Press called a spot for Wright as early as Saturday night. The second one had to wait a bit. Only 354 votes separated Ellzey and the third-place candidate, Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez.
Ultimately, Sanchez conceded Sunday. “Democrats have come a long way toward competing in Texas but we still have a way to go. Unfortunately, tonight we came up short, and two Republicans will be competing to represent this congressional district,” Sanchez said in a statement.
The National Republican Congressional Committee hailed the party’s sweep. However, they still have to wait and see which of the Republican candidates will win.
Former President Donald Trump endorsed the candidacy of Wright, while Ellzey is seen more as moderate. While republican senior members will definitely go out of their way to campaign for their candidate, the GOP as a whole heaved a sigh of relief. They won’t have to mount an aggressive call for votes. Instead, the party can save resources for next year’s midterm elections.
Democrats Lost the Sixth District
Wright captured 19.2% of the votes versus Ellzey’s 13.8%. Sanchez came in third at 13.4%. Meanwhile, another Republican, former Trump health staffer Brian Harrison, finished at 10.8%.
NRCC NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer welcomed the sweep. “The Democrats’ socialist agenda that has opened our borders, destroyed thousands of energy jobs, and wants to raise middle-class taxes by trillions of dollars eliminated any chance of them being competitive in this district. I look forward to welcoming a new Republican colleague to Congress,” he said.
The shutout ended the Democrats’ plan to add to their House majority. They hoped that the fast-diversifying 6th Congressional District outside Fort Worth can lead to a fresh face in Congress.
However, they need to do more. Trump carried the district by 3 points in 2020 after winning it by 12 points in 2016. The late Representative Ron Wright won his race by 9 points last year.
Sanchez Knew That Democrats Would Lose
Sanchez already had an idea the Democrats would lose. In an interview last month, Sanchez warned about a potential sweep from Republicans.
She said if that happened, it can set a discouraging tone for the Dems in 2021. What she feared came true. Republican candidates in total got 62% of the total vote. Meanwhile, the Dems got 37%.
“Nothing could be a worse omen for the Democratic Party than to have a winnable district like this with two Republicans in the runoff. That would be very embarrassing and very disheartening,” she said.
In addition, the low turnout during the polls showed that Democrats will need more to motivate voters after Biden’s win. The Dems engaged in massive campaigns during special elections in the Trump administration years, especially in the red states.
Meanwhile, Sanchez didn’t find any similar efforts for this election. Seemingly, with Democrats firmly entrenched in the White House and both chambers of Congress, nobody had to move.
Meanwhile, Trump’s endorsement of Wright seemed to work. In a crowded field of 11 Republicans, 10 Democrats, an independent, and a Libertarian, Trump gave his blessing to Ron Wright’s widow.
Shortly after she won, Trump issued a message saying: “Congratulations to Susan Wright on her great surge yesterday which made her NUMBER ONE and assures her participation in the TX-06 runoff against another Republican.
The Democrats have just conceded the race. Susan surged after I gave her an endorsement last week. Her wonderful husband is looking down, and is very proud of her!”
Watch the CBS News video reporting that the special congressional election in Texas heads to runoff:
What do you think of the recent 6th district elections? Also, do you think the results will help the GOP long-term in reclaiming the majority?
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