State Rep. Jake Ellzey will serve as the next representative of Texas’ 6th Congressional District after winning an all-Republican runoff to fill the seat of late U.S. Rep. Ron Wright.
Susan Wright, Ron Wright’s widow, and Ellzey, who also served as a Navy fighter pilot, received the most votes in a May 1 special election that drew 23 candidates, advancing them into Tuesday’s runoff. With all polling places reporting, Ellzey received 53.3% of the votes to Wright’s 46.7%, according to unofficial election night results from the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
The special election was called after Ron Wright died in February following battles with COVID-19 and cancer.
“I’m honored that you would entrust me with your vote and your desire to send me to Washington D.C. to represent the good people of this district,” Ellzey told supporters at an election night watch party in Ennis. The remarks were streamed live on his Facebook page.
In an interview with the Star-Telegram, Ellzey said he’d got a call from Wright who conceded.
“Special elections are special, and this one was no exception,” Wright said in statement. “I want to congratulate Congressman-elect Jake Ellzey on his victory. I am praying for his success and wish him well. … I will never forget the kindness the people of Congressional District 6 have shown Ron and I for so many years.”
Special elections are special, and this one was no exception.
I want to congratulate Congressman-elect Jake Ellzey on his victory. I am praying for his success & wish him well.
I will never forget the kindness the people of #TX06 have shown Ron & I for so many years. Thank you.
— Susan Wright (@SusanWrightTX6) July 28, 2021
The two Republicans have been in a contentious race for the seat that covers most of Arlington and Mansfield, and all of Ellis and Navarro counties. Wright, who received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, has worked to convince voters that she’s the conservative in the race, as Ellzey and some of his top supporters have refuted negative ads from conservative group The Club for Growth.
Trump held a town hall for Wright by phone on the eve of the election. In the call, he said Wright has his “complete and total endorsement” and cheered that a Democrat was knocked out of the race in the first round of voting. Trump highlighted policies Wright would support in Congress, such as shutting down “Joe Biden’s border disaster” and tax cuts.
“She was married to a great gentleman who I knew, Ron Wright, and he was an outstanding member of Congress,” Trump said. “Susan will carry on his legacy and stand up to the radical left and fight for our America first agenda.”
Ellzey drew the support of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who served as Energy Secretary under Trump, U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Houston Republican, and former U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, who represented Congressional District 6 for more than three decades.
“Donald Trump couldn’t pick Susan Wright out of a lineup,” Perry recently told “Capital Tonight” on Spectrum News. “He has no idea who she is, has no idea what she believes.”
Asked about The Club for Growth and Trump’s involvement in the race and their effect on the outcome, Ellzey said he’d leave the analysis up to the political science experts at universities.
“But the number of people who have voted for me and invested in me and my campaign like the positive message,” he said. “They like the idea of a brighter future for our kids and a return to the Reagan Republican-type politics that I believe in, which is a brighter tomorrow and just being nice to each other.”
Priority number one when Ellzey takes office is getting district offices set up and fully staffed so that constituent services can get up and running, Ellzey said. He’ll be entering office mid-term.
Some of Ellzey’s colleague’s in Austin congratulated him on Twitter Tuesday night.
“Texan. Patriot. Congressman,” said House Speaker Dade Phelan. “Congratulations to (Jake Ellzey) on running a terrific race for #tx06. The House’s loss is Congress’s gain.”
Gov. Greg Abbott in a statement said Ellzey “will be a strong and effective leader for the people of North Texas and he will fight tirelessly for their values in Washington.”
“I look forward to working alongside Jake as we keep Texas the greatest state in the nation,” Abbott said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.