The death of Rep. Ron Wright (pictured above) triggered a special election to fill the seat he held in the House. Wright represented congressional district TX-06. Two Republican candidates emerged victorious in the primary race and now face a run-off. Though national Democrats were hopeful that the seat might go to a Democrat, there was never really any true hope for that to happen. TX-06 remains a Republican district.
Wright’s widow, Susan Wright and state Rep. Jake Ellzey won first and second place in the initial primary race on May 1. The strongest Democrat candidate, Jana Lynne Sanchez, the 2018 Democratic nominee for the seat, finished third. She came in 347 votes shy of making a second place finish. Governor Abbott set the date of the special election run-off as July 27. Early voting starts July 19.
There were 23 candidates in the primary election. Susan Wright, a member of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC), received 19% of the vote. State Rep. Jake Ellzey received 14% of the vote. Trump endorsed Wright in a last-minute move while Ellzey had the endorsement of former Governor Rick Perry, also former Secretary of Energy in the Trump administration. For many Texans, this was a test of the strength of a Trump endorsement.
Susan Wright has thirty years of service to her community and Tarrant County. She has served on boards and commissions as well as serving as district director for two State Representatives. She’s served as elections judge and precinct chair before her current position as member of the SREC.
Ellzey retired after 20 years of military service. He served as a fighter pilot and deployed nine times, including to Afghanistan and Iraq. He served five combat tours and one by ground with Seal Team 5. After retirement from the military he became a local businessman. He was appointed by then Governor Perry to serve as Commissioner of the Texas Veterans Commission. Currently he is a commercial airline pilot.
A new poll is out, as reported by Politico. Susan Wright is up by 15 points over Jake Ellzey. This is the first poll released in the run-off race. Granted, it is early yet. The poll was conducted by American Viewpoint using 400 likely voters from June 1-3. (+/-4.9%) That is a small sampling but it is only one congressional district. In the special election primary, 78,374 votes were cast.
The memo from the polling company is dated June 7.
The following outlines the key findings from a survey of n=400 likely July 27th, 2021 special election runoff voters in Texas CD-6 commissioned by Susan Wright for Congress. Interviews were conducted June 1st-3rd, 2021 with a universe of those who voted in the May special election, screened by selfreported likelihood to vote in the runoff with two Republican candidates. Approximately 50% of interviews were conducted with a cell phone sample of those who can’t be reached on a landline.
Susan Wright is in a strong position in the runoff.
• Wright leads 49%-34%, with 11% undecided.
• Among Republicans, Wright holds a dominant 66%-27% lead. This should be even more important given that Republicans will likely make up a disproportionate portion of the electorate
with no Democrat having made the runoff.
• The one voting bloc favoring Ellzey are Democrats (18%-49%), but they will likely make up a very small portion of the electorate. Only 7% of Democrats rate their enthusiasm in voting a 10,
compared to 43% of Republicans. Moreover, among those who rate their enthusiasm in voting an 8-10 (50% of the sample), Wright’s lead expands to 59%-27%.
Former President Trump is clearly an asset in this race.
• Wright leads 61%-28% among those with a favorable impression of Trump. The former President’s ratings remain extremely strong with Republicans (88% favorable, 9% unfavorable).
• Trump Movement Republicans make up 26% of the electorate, and Wright leads 67%-23% with
• Ellzey is not benefiting from former Governor Perry’s endorsement at this point, as Wright leads 60%-30% among those with a favorable impression of Perry.
Susan Wright is well-positioned in the runoff due to her strength with Republicans and conservatives.
Tactically, Ellzey is in a difficult position of trying to turn out lower propensity Democrats to vote in an election with two Republicans running. If Wright has the resources to continue to define herself and educate voters that she is the true conservative in the race, she will be the next Member of Congress from Texas’ 6th Congressional district.
There we have it. According to this poll, Trump’s endorsement is still important, at least in Republican districts in Texas. Perry’s endorsement, at one time a valuable asset, is no longer so golden. Ellzey may garner votes from Democrats to squash Wright’s votes but it won’t matter in the end. Wright will win handily if this information holds. She’ll have no trouble raising money to finish the race strong. Her years of community service and networking will pay off in campaign donations.
Most importantly, this congressional district will remain in Republican hands. Pelosi will not pick up a Democrat in this seat.