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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

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A voter casts their ballot at an early voting polling location in Texas

How A Special Election In Texas’s 6th District Will Test Trump’s Influence On The GOP

Ideologically, Susan Wright and Jake Ellzey have a lot in common. For starters, the first three priorities on their respective campaign websites are identical: defending the Second Amendment, opposing abortion rights and strengthening the U.S.-Mexico border. Both also claim that President Biden and his administration are promoting immigation among undocumented migrants and, echoing former President Trump’s false claims of election fraud, call for more restrictive voting laws. Overall, both candidates tout their conservative bona fides as a reason why they should represent Texas’s 6th Congressional District.

Where the two really differ is in their respective endorsements. Ellzey, a state House representative and retired Navy fighter pilot, has the support of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who also served as energy secretary under Trump. And Wright, a longtime GOP activist and the widow of Ron Wright, the late congressman of the district who died in February after contracting COVID-19, has the backing of Trump himself.

It’s not clear, though, how much that endorsement will matter to voters during Tuesday’s runoff election, when they decide which of the two candidates should represent them in Congress. That’s because Texas’s 6th District — which includes parts of Tarrant, Ellis and Navarro counties — has been trending away from Republicans in recent years. While 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney carried the district by about 17 points, Trump won it by roughly 12 points in 2016 and only 3 points in 2020. 

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