Texas GOP Election Wins Seen As Blow To Democrats, Biden U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (R) looks on as former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice delivers remarks after being introduced as Biden’s choice to lead his Domestic Policy Council at the Queen Theater on December 11, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 03 May 2021 07:28 AM
The results of Saturday's special election in Texas' 6th Congressional District are being seen as a blow to Democrats and the popularity of President Joe Biden after no Democrats earned enough votes to advance to a runoff race.
Susan Rice, the widow of the late Republican Rep. Ron Wright, won the first-place spot after she was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and will square off in the runoff against Texas State Rep John Kevin Ellzey Sr., R-10th, and Republicans say the win points to growing party strength in a district that has lately been considered as "purpling," reports Fox News.
Ellzey won by a slim margin of under 400 votes over Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez, who conceded the loss to the GOP lawmaker in a social media post. Wright took 19% of the vote in the 23-person field, and Ellzey took 14% to Sanchez's 13%. Eleven Republicans, 10 Democrats, one Libertarian, and one independent all vied on the ballot.
While Wright is endorsed by Trump, Ellzey is backed by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, reports The Dallas Morning News.
John Fund, a national affairs columnist for the National Review, pointed out on Twitter, while questioning Biden's popularity, that "Republicans grabbed the two runoff slots in the Texas 6 special election yesterday. Dems were shut out, their candidates won a total 36% in a Dallas area seat that Trump carried by only 3 points last November."
Meanwhile, a Fox News poll in April showed a 54% majority of voters approved of Biden's job performance, a number lower than those of former Presidents Barack Obama, at 62% and George W. Bush, at 63% after their own first 100 days in office. Trump's approval at the same point in office was 45%.
The Texas Democratic Party insists it still has its sights set on Texas's 6th District and praised Sanchez for her effort in the contest.
"Although a Democrat is not advancing to the runoff, yesterday’s incredibly close margins showed that voters are invested in electing Democrats, and are fighting for the representation their communities deserve. The clear enthusiasm in this election is one more sign that Texas is moving closer and closer to turning blue with every year that passes," Gilberto Hinojosa, the Texas Democratic Party chair, said in a statement Saturday. "The new Democratic South is rising, and we will continue to rally our movement to take back our state — including as we look toward the 2022 governor’s race."
The district covers some southeastern parts of Fort Worth as well as some rural areas. Saturday's race was seen as the nation's first competitive election since Biden took office in January.
Trump carried the district by just 3 points in 2020, after carrying it in 2016 by 12 points.
The former president congratulated Wright on her win to fill her late husband's seat, pointing out that her numbers "surged after I gave her an endorsement last week. Her wonderful husband is looking down, and is very proud of her!"