Voters to decide special election on May 1 for Texas’ 6th Congressional District

A special election to fill the vacancy in Texas’ 6th Congressional District will be held May 1. Twenty-three candidates are running to represent this district in the Fort Worth suburbs. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will compete in a runoff election. The previous incumbent, Ronald Wright (R), died from COVID-19 related complications on February 7, 2021.

Media attention has focused on eight candidates in the race: Lydia Bean (D), Shawn Lassiter (D), Jana Lynne Sanchez (D), Jake Ellzey (R), Brian Harrison (R), Sery Kim (R), Michael Wood (R), and Susan Wright (R).

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Wright this week. Harrison received endorsements from several Trump administration officials, including former Cabinet members Alex Azar, Betsy DeVos, and Linda McMahon. U.S. Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who voted to impeach Trump, endorsed Wood. 

Ellzey was endorsed by former Gov. Rick Perry (R), the Texas Farm Bureau, and three Ellis County Commissioners. He has faced opposition from the Club for Growth and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R).

Kim, a Korean-American, was endorsed by the two Korean-American members of Congress, but those endorsements were later rescinded following comments she made about Chinese immigrants.

Among the Democratic candidates, Bean received endorsements from several unions, including the Texas AFL-CIO, the local Teamsters, and the local United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Lassiter received endorsements from local school board officials, a former state board of education member, the 314 Action Fund, and the Voter Protection Project. Sanchez was endorsed by a pair of Arlington City Council members and the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

The district has become more competitive in both presidential and congressional elections since 2012. In 2020, Trump won the district 51-48, running behind Wright, who won 53-44. In 2016, Trump won the district 54-42, while Wright won 58-39. In 2012, Mitt Romney (R) won the district 58-41 while then-Rep. Joe Barton (R) won re-election 58-39. Midterm elections in the district have followed the same trend. In 2018, Wright won re-election 53-45, while Barton won 61-36 in 2014.