Former President Donald Trump gave his endorsement Monday to Susan Wright’s bid to fill the House seat of her late husband, Rep. Ron Wright, in the crowded special election Saturday in Texas’s 6th District.
Trump’s endorsement — his third in a House race so far this cycle — comes as a much-needed boost to Susan Wright, whose early lead in the 23-candidate race has diminished as her fundraising has flagged. But it comes a week after early voting started, and a day before it ends.
“Susan Wright will be a terrific Congresswoman (TX-06) for the Great State of Texas. She is the wife of the late Congressman Ron Wright, who has always been supportive of our America First Policies,” Trump said in an email on Monday. “Susan will be strong on the Border, Crime, Pro-Life, our brave Military and Vets, and will ALWAYS protect your Second Amendment.”
The district, which stretches from the Dallas-Fort Worth area into the surrounding rural region, leans to the right but it is expected to be the most competitive of a handful of special elections playing out so far during the new Congress. Trump beat Democrat Joe Biden there in November by 3 percentage points, according to Daily Kos Elections data.
Candidates from both parties will all appear on the same ballot. If no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will face each other in a runoff.
While the national GOP appears split about how closely to cleave to Trump after his 2020 loss, the Republicans in this race, with one exception, have left little doubt that they still see his support as crucial.
State Rep. Jake Ellzey, the top fundraiser, rushed last week to declare that he “supported President Trump and his America-first policies,” after the anti-tax Club for Growth aired ads attacking him for accepting money “from a vicious never Trump hitman.” Those ads refer to a $250 donation Ellzey got from prominent Republican Trump critic Bill Kristol in 2018, when Ellzey challenged Ron Wright for the seat. In the special election, Kristol is backing Michael Wood, a Marine veteran who is campaigning as an anti-Trump Republican.
Other Republican candidates include former Trump administration officials Brian Harrison and Sery Kim. Dan Rodimer, a former professional wrestler, has been running ads declaring he is the only candidate who “has ever been endorsed by President Trump” in the race, referring to the endorsement the former president gave when Rodimer ran unsuccessfully for the House last year in Nevada. Those ads earned him a rebuke from Trump spokesman Jason Miller.
Democrats targeted the seat in 2020 but Ron Wright won it by 9 points, about the same margin as his win in 2018 against Jana Lynne Sanchez, who was the Democratic nominee in the district. Trump’s win in November was down from his 8-point edge over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. A handful of Democrats are running, including top fundraisers Sanchez, former Texas House candidate Lydia Bean and educator Shawn Lassiter.