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After Ellzey Upsets Wright In Runoff Election, Tarrant County Republican And Democratic Parties Dissect Outcome

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Congressman-Elect Jake Ellzey may be sworn-in as early as Friday, July 30, after his upset victory over fellow Republican Susan Wright in the runoff special election for the 6th Congressional District in Texas.

Ellzey, a first-term State Representative from Waxahachie, was back at the Texas Capitol Wednesday, July 28, for the Special Session.

A night earlier, Ellzey defeated Wright 53% to 47% after leading all evening.

He said he was ecstatic about his win and focused on setting up his district offices to serve his constituents. "What I'm worried about in the next few days, taking the oath of office in Washington, DC and doing the work for the people of the 6th District of Texas."

He will complete the term of the late Congressman Ron Wright, Susan's husband, who died earlier this year after testing positive for Covid-19 and battling cancer.

Tarrant County Republican Party Chair Rick Barnes said he was glad a Republican maintained the Congressional seat, but that the outcome is different than he expected. "We were certainly surprised. I think the results of that election went against polling and went against thought locally."

Barnes said former President Donald Trump's endorsement of Wright may have motivated not only Republicans, but Democrats in the county as well. "In that the Democrats have decided to support Ellzey in that race, frankly, putting out information saying they thought of him as being the lesser of two evils."

Tarrant County Democratic Party Chair Dr. Allison Campolo agreed. "They were not excited to vote for only Republicans. There were no Democrats in the race. But they certainly were not interested in voting for somebody who Trump endorsed."

Citing the former President's loss in Tarrant County last year, Campolo said she also believed Republicans in Tarrant County are trying to distance themselves from him.

Ellzey received the endorsement from the state's longest-serving Governor, Rick Perry.

Ellzey won Ellis County, his home-turf, but also Tarrant County, where Wright had worked in party politics for years.

Wright won Navarro County.

Ellzey raised far more money than Wright: more than $1.7 million compared with her $740,000.

Some residents in the district had also complained about the negative attacks made against Ellzey on Wright's behalf.

Barnes said he doesn't live in the 6th Congressional District and hadn't seen negative campaign mailers. "It seems to be a topic for lots of people. I think negative campaigning, I think people are a little bit tired of it, frankly."

Campolo said Democrats who hadn't planned to vote changed their minds and cast their ballots after receiving their second or third mailer from Wright's campaign. "They were really frustrated with this negative tone of the campaign.

And it was her negative mailers that encouraged some Democrats to go out and vote against her and vote for Jake Ellzey."

Governor Greg Abbott's press secretary said Wednesday that they'll announce details about a special election to fill Ellzey's seat in the Texas House in the coming days.

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