Election Day is Tuesday in U.S. House race

Ellzey, Wright face off in special runoff to fill seat vacant since February

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
Rep. Jake Ellzey

One thing is known about next Tuesday’s special election for the U.S. House District 6 special election: The seat will remain in Republican Party hands and will not alter the razor-thin margin between Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

However, while both candidates claim fealty to former President Donald Trump, the two candidates represent different facets of the far-flung district that they hope to represent. That is the crux of next week’s special election.

Texas House freshman District 10 Rep. Jake Ellzey has a rural residence in Ellis County and hopes that his representation of old-school Texas values will sweep him to Washington. Susan Wright, the widowed wife of former congressman Ron Wright, commands her late husband’s base in suburban Tarrant County and is seeking to ride an overwhelming population advantage to Congress.

The Ellis County Elections Office at 204 East Jefferson St. in Waxahachie is the main voting location, but the Midlothian Conference Center will be open as a branch location as well as the Ellis County Sub-Courthouse in Ennis, the Palmer ISD Annex Building and the Ovilla City Hall. A list of polling locations is available on the Ellis County Elections website.

The U.S. House vacancy was created on Feb. 7 when Ron Wright, who was serving his second term in Congress, died in a Dallas hospital from complications of COVID-19 and stage-4 lung cancer. To date, Wright is the only serving congressman to die from the virus, which today is resurging among unvaccinated people.

Both candidates adhere to boilerplate planks in the GOP platform, but in a candidate luncheon hosted by the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce on June 16, Susan Wright said she supported keeping federal funds for school districts available, while Ellzey said funding should be based on each district’s needs and the federal government needs to stay out of local education.

Mrs. Wright’s campaign released an internal poll in June that showed her leading Ellzey, 49 percent to 34 percent, according to Politico.

Susan Wright placed first in the May 1 special election among a field of 23 candidates from all parties, receiving about 19 percent of votes. Ellzey, who carried Ellis County, edged out Democrat Jana Sanchez with 14 percent of the balloting to finish second and make it an all-GOP runoff.

Ellzey, a retired Navy commander and combat fighter pilot, recently announced he had raised nearly $1.2 million for his campaign from mostly small donors. On the other hand, Wright has been endorsed by Trump and has enjoyed six-figure funding by the conservative Club For Growth, which has come out in opposition of Ellzey.

Ellzey won the Texas House District 10 seat last November and recently completed his first legislative session in Austin. The Texas House’s current special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott in early July is on hold because of lack of a quorum.

Ellzey is seeking to reverse a defeat at the hands of Ron Wright in a 2018 Republican House primary runoff.

The U.S. House District 6 seat had been filled by longtime Rep. Joe Barton, who had represented Ellis County in Washington since 1984, but a scandal forced Barton to retire prior to the 2018 elections.

Ron Wright, a former Tarrant County elected official who was serving as Barton’s chief of staff at the time, threw his hat in the ring and beat Ellzey in a GOP runoff, then defeated Democratic nominee Sanchez in the 2018 general election.

Ron Wright won a second term in 2020 by dominating the March primary, and easily topped Ellis County Democrat Stephen Daniel in the November general.