State House finalists set to meet in Wednesday forum

Harrison, Wray scheduled to answer questions at Midlothian Conference Center

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
The Midlothian Conference Center.

The date hadn’t been set yet for the special election runoff for the vacant Texas House District 10 seat, but the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce forged ahead anyway with plans for the two remaining contenders to meet the voters.

The Chamber scheduled a candidate forum to be held on Wednesday evening, Sept. 15, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Midlothian Conference Center. The forum was to be free for the public to attend.

Brian Harrison

Former Trump administration official Brian Harrison of Midlothian and former three-term state Rep. John Wray of Waxahachie — both Republicans — will meet in the yet-to-be-set runoff to replace former state Rep. Jake Ellzey, who was elected in July to represent Texas District 6 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gov. Greg Abbott is responsible for setting a date for the runoff election. As of Monday, this date had not yet been established. The Texas Election Code specifies that any runoff election must be held on a Tuesday or Saturday occurring not earlier than the 12th day, nor later than the 25th day after the date the election is ordered.

John Wray

The forum was set up to present an opportunity for the public to hear from the two candidates and make an informed decision at the polls. As with previous Midlothian Chamber forums, the two candidates were to answer questions from a moderator and would not engage in a debate.

Harrison was a surprise winner of the plurality in the Aug. 31 special election, grabbing a 504-vote margin in the county and a 582-vote edge across the entire district over Wray. Harrison had 4,613 total votes, or 40.7 percent, to Wray’s 4,031 votes or 35.57 percent across all of District 10, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office.

The special Texas House election was necessary because of the July 27 runoff victory by Ellzey for the U.S. House District 6 seat. Ellzey resigned days later to take the congressional oath of office in Washington, leaving the state House seat open.

District 10 consists of all of Ellis County, and a small portion of Henderson County west and south of Cedar Creek Lake that includes the communities of Malakoff, Trinidad, Star Harbor and Tool.

The boundaries of the district are expected to shift through redistricting that takes place every 10 years following every U.S. Census. The changes will take effect beginning with the March 2022 primary elections.