On April 19, early voting began in a special election to fill the seat representing Texas’ 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House. The special election will fill the vacancy left by Ronald Wright (R), who died from complications related to COVID-19. The election will take place on May 1, with a runoff taking place later in the month if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.
With 23 candidates running in the special election, the Texas Tribune said the race was likely to head to a mid-summer runoff between the top two vote-getters. The Tribune identified seven prominent candidates in the race—three Democrats and four Republicans. Those candidates are: Jana Lynne Sanchez (D), Lydia Bean (D), Shawn Lassiter (D), Susan Wright (R), Jake Ellzey (R), Brian Harrison (R), Sery Kim (R).
Each of the Republican candidates has campaigned on the issues of firearm policy, immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border, business growth through deregulation, and abortion. They can be distinguished by the endorsements they have received.
Susan Wright, the widow of Ronald Wright, was endorsed by five members of Congress, the state party executive committee, and the mayor of Forth Worth.
Kim, a former official with the Small Business Association, received the endorsement of two Korean-American Republican members of Congress, and is Korean-American herself. Those were rescinded in early April following comments she made about immigration from China, however.
Harrison, the chief of staff to former Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, has touted endorsements from more than 100 members of the Trump administration, including Azar, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon. Ellzey, a 20-year Navy veteran, received endorsements from former Gov. Rick Perry, the Texas Farm Bureau, and the War Veterans Fund.
Each of the three Democrats has emphasized what they call working class economic issues, education, and expanding affordable medical care as key parts of their platform.
Bean, a former teacher, received endorsements from the county and state AFL-CIO and the local branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Lassiter, also a teacher, was endorsed by two local school board members, a former state board of education member, the 314 Action Fund, and the Voter Protection Project. Sanchez, a communications consultant, was endorsed by state Rep. Michelle Beckley, two Arlington City Council members, and the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
In the 2020 general election, Wright defeated Stephen Daniel (D) 53-44, while Trump carried the district 51-48. Wright won re-election in 2018 with 53 percent of the vote and in 2016 with 58 percent of the vote.