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With 23 candidates, special election in Texas is headed for runoff

Written by Dave Montgomery and Edgar Sandoval

Susan Wright, the Republican widow of a congressman who died of COVID-19, emerged Saturday night because the front-runner in a decent race to exchange her husband in Washington.

Nonetheless, Wright, whose husband, Ron Wright, died in February, couldn’t keep away from a runoff for the state’s sixth Congressional District, which incorporates largely rural areas in three Northern Texas counties and a sliver of the nation’s fourth-largest metropolitan area round Dallas, Fort Value and Arlington.

Wright, who was assisted by a last-minute endorsement from former President Donald Trump, captured about 19% of the vote, far under the 50% required to keep away from a runoff. It appeared she was headed to a different contest with Jake Ellzey, a fellow Republican. Jana Lynne Sanchez, a Democrat, adopted intently behind in third place.

The outcomes upset Democrats, who had hoped to faucet a reservoir of shifting demographics and Hispanic and African American progress in a district the place Trump gained by solely three share factors in November.

Sanchez, who ran a decent race in opposition to Ron Wright in 2018, held an election gathering at her house in Fort Value and vowed to maintain combating for progressive values. The sixth District was as soon as a Democratic stronghold, till Phil Gramm switched occasion affiliations in 1983, turning the district right into a dependable bastion of Republican energy for many years.

In February, Ron Wright, who had lung most cancers, died after he contracted the coronavirus. His spouse was an early front-runner to exchange him, however her possibilities of outright victory narrowed after the sphere grew to 23 candidates, together with 11 Republicans, 10 Democrats, a Libertarian and an unbiased.

The battle took a weird flip within the ultimate days when Wright’s backers reported receiving nameless robocalls that accused her of killing her husband. She instantly sought an investigation by the FBI and the native authorities.

Saturday’s outcomes signaled that Trump continued to have a maintain on the Republican Celebration in Texas months after dropping an election he falsely claimed had been stolen from him. Ron Wright had been a vocal ally of Trump and a member of the conservative Home Freedom Caucus.

That is the second time that the widow of a member of Congress who died from COVID sought to maintain her husband’s seat. Final month, Julia Letlow, a Republican from Louisiana, prevented a runoff when she secured the seat of her late husband, Luke Letlow, who died earlier than having the possibility to symbolize the district, which incorporates a lot of the central a part of the traditionally pink state.

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