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Jake Ellzey Upsets Susan Wright In Race For Texas' 6th Congressional District

Half shot of Jake Ellzey
Ellzey For Texas
Jake Ellzey is a Navy veteran and freshman state representative who lost to Ron Wright in the primary for this seat in 2018.

Unofficial election results show Jake Ellzey will replace U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, who died in February after contracting COVID-19.

At an election night event at the Texas Motorplex Ellzey told around 100 supporters he was honored to have been elected, and he credited his win to his campaign's "positive outlook — a Reagan-Republican outlook for the future of our country."

Ellzey, a state legislator from Waxahachie, has around 53% of votes tallied, a lead he maintained from the time early voting returns were released.

He was not the favorite in the race since competitor Susan Wright had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz. Susan Wright is longtime Republican activist and the widow of Ron Wright.

Ellzey was known as a political foe of Ron Wright. Ellzey's supporters included U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, former Gov. Rick Perry and Joe Barton, the political veteran who gave up the 6th Congressional District seat three years ago after a sexting scandal.

Wright told supporters she was conceding just before 9:30 p.m., saying she'd called Jake Ellzey to congratulate him.

“The most important thing we can do is pull together and take care of what business needs to be taken care of,” she said to those gathered at an Arlington hotel.

She got emotional thanking her staff and her family.

“I appreciate everything you did. Please, please please don’t stop your engagement," Wright said. "Keep doing what you’re doing.”

Susan Wright hugging a supporter.
Miranda Suarez / KERA News
Wright gathered with supporters at a Courtyard by Marriott in Arlington Tuesday Night

Their was a bit of controversy in the race around anti-Ellzey ads sponsored by a national conservative organization called The Club for Growth.

Joe Barton, who held the 6th District seat for 17 terms, criticized Susan Wright during an appearance onThe Mark Davis Show, saying she should have disavowed the ads.

“That’s the biggest disappointment in this race to me, that Susan has allowed that and the Club for Growth to do what they’ve done,” Barton said.

In her interview with KERA, Wright underscored that her campaign was not responsible for the ads.

“Anything I have to say has ‘Paid for by Susan Wright for Congress.’ I didn't do these,” Wright said. “If you don't like it, they should talk to the organizations that do it.”

The 6th Congressional District includes a chunk of southeast Tarrant County and stretches down through Ellis and Navarro counties.

It was unusual to have two Republicans in the final pairing for a Congressional seat. That's because this is a special election, and more than 20 candidates from both parties competed in the May 1 preliminary round. No one got close to half the vote, which triggered a runoff between the top two.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Tarrant County accountability reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.
Gabrielle Jones has a passion for serving diverse audiences. She is the Audience Editor at KERA in Dallas, Texas.