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Republicans Susan Wright, Jake Ellzey In Runoff To Fill Texas Congressional Seat

Updated May 2, 2021 at 2:27 PM ET

Texans around Dallas sent Susan Wright to a runoff election to fill the congressional seat of her late husband, Republican Ron Wright. She will face state Rep. Jake Ellzey, also a Republican, who came in second place in Saturday's special election. He edged out Democrat Jana Sanchez, who conceded.

In a field of 23 candidates vying to replace Ron Wright in the state's 6th Congressional District, none of the candidates captured the majority of votes required to win the seat outright. A date for the runoff has not been set.

Ron Wright, a second-term congressman, died in February after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. He was the first sitting member of Congress to have died of the virus.

The race to fill his seat has become one of the year's most closely watched contests, representing the changing demographics of many suburban congressional districts in the South, and the influence of former President Donald Trump.

Trump has endorsed Wright in the race, giving her a much-desired boost among conservatives. But the district has trended more blue in recent years.

Last year, according to Ballotpedia, Trump won the district by just 3 percentage points as Ron Wright won it by 9 points.

While Wright and other Republicans are tying themselves to the former president, the field in Saturday's election also included an anti-Trump GOP candidate, Michael Wood.

Wright on Friday reached out to federal law enforcement after her campaign learned of robocalls baselessly claiming she had killed her husband. "There's not a sewer too deep that some politicians won't plumb," she said in a statement.

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Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.
Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.
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