Big-Name Endorsements, Negative Attacks Part Of Race For Texas 6th Congressional District Representative

Twenty-three candidates are vying for the open seat after Republican Congressman Ron Wright died earlier this year in connection with COVID-19.

Video Transcript

MADISON SAWYER: Meanwhile, nearly two dozen candidates are vying for the 6th congressional district seat in North Texas. This, after Republican Congressman Ron Wright died earlier this year in connection with COVID-19. Our political reporter Jack Fink is in the CBSN DFW studio with a look. So Jack, what does that race look like?

JACK FINK: Well, Madison, open seats don't come along very often. 11 Republicans, 10 Democrats, one Independent, and one Libertarian are hoping to win. Two candidates have recently received big name endorsements and negative attacks.

Susan Wright, widow of the late Congressman Ron Wright, and among the 23 candidates running to complete his term, expressed outrage after hearing about an anonymous robocall sent to residents making baseless allegations that she caused her husband's death.

- (ON PHONE) Did Susan Wright murder her husband? Is she now running for Congress to cover it up?

JACK FINK: Her campaign says it immediately contacted the FBI. Earlier this week, she won an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, and conservative group Club for Growth, who held a teleconference for her.

DONALD TRUMP (ON PHONE): Everybody knows that Susan is outstanding. Susan is a committed conservative who will fight for our America first agenda, make America great again. And I guess, unfortunately, we're going to need that now more than ever.

JACK FINK: Texas Senator Ted Cruz got involved in the race, too, joining the Club for Growth and questioning the conservative credentials of another Republican candidate, State Representative Jake Ellzey.

TED CRUZ: I don't know Jake personally, but I've seen his record. I've seen that he's gotten support from-- from Never Trumpers like Bill Kristol. That's-- that's certainly worrisome.

JACK FINK: That contribution came in 2018, when Ellzey lost the Republican primary to Ron Wright for this seat. Former Texas governor Rick Perry has endorsed Ellzey.

RICK PERRY: That is politics at its worst. I'm for Jake Ellzey. If you can't come into the state of Texas and be for somebody, why don't you just stay on the east coast and keep your elite east coast money there. We understand in Texas what conservatism looks like.

JACK FINK: Three Democratic candidates have also emerged in the crowded field-- Jana Lynne Sanchez, who ran in 2018, Dr. Lydia Bean a former candidate for state representative, and educator Shawn Lassiter. The Texas Democratic Party chair, Gilberto Hinojosa, hopes at least one of them will reach what's expected to end up in a runoff.

GILBERTO HINOJOSA: We believe we can-- at least one Democrat will get into the runoff. That district is a district ready to turn. On a regular election, it would be an election I think we could win with a strong candidate.

JACK FINK: To win outright, a candidate needs 50% plus one vote. Now, that's not likely to happen with such a large group of candidates. This is not a primary so the top two finishers, regardless of their party, will move to the runoff, and a date hasn't been set for that just yet. Madison?