Trump-backed GOP candidate loses Texas US House seat to Jake Ellzey

Politics

Photo: Jake Ellzey Republican for Congress website

(NewsNation Now) — In a blow to the endorsement power of the former president, Republican Jake Ellzey of Texas won a U.S. House seat on Tuesday night over a rival backed by Donald Trump.

Ellzey’s come-from-behind victory over Republican Susan Wright, the widow of the late Rep. Ron Wright, in a special congressional election runoff near Dallas is likely to be celebrated by Trump antagonists who have warned against his continued hold on the GOP. Trump backed Wright from the start and had made one last attempt to give her a boost with a telephone rally Monday night.

Ellzey was carrying more than 53% of the vote in Texas’ 6th Congressional District with results from almost all precincts reported.

“One of things that we’ve seen from this campaign is a positive outlook, a Reagan Republican outlook, for the future of our country is what the people of the 6th District really really want,” Ellzey said to supporters following his victory.

Ellzey is a Republican state legislator who finished a second to Wright in May, and squeaked by a Democrat to make it into the runoff. Ron Wright’s death in February opened up the seat. Wright became the first member of Congress to die after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Ellzey didn’t try to distance himself from Trump during the race, but sought to overcome the lack of suppot from the former president by raising more money and garnering other endorsements, including one from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is still very popular in the state.

Trump endorsed Susan Wright early in the special election and recorded a robocall for her late in the runoff. Make America Great Action, a PAC chaired by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, also made a $100,000 ad buy over the weekend.

The outcome may show the limits of Trump’s influence with voters. Republicans have continued making loyalty to Trump paramount since his defeat in November, even as the former president continues to falsely and baselessly assert that the election was stolen.

In 2018, Ellzey narrowly lost the GOP nomination for the seat he now holds in the North Texas district, which has long been Republican territory. Trump’s support in the district had also plummeted: After winning it by double-digits in 2016, he carried it by just 3 percentage points last year, reflecting the trend of Texas’ booming suburbs shifting to purple and, in some places, outright blue.

Ron Wright, who was 67 and had lung cancer, was just weeks into his second term when he died. Susan Wright had also been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at one point was hospitalized with her husband.

Latest News

© 1998 - 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation