Susan Wright is running in the runoff for her late husband’s North Texas congressional seat, NBC News reported on Saturday.
Wright, the widow of Rep. Ron Wright, R-Texas, and a longtime local GOP political activist, emerged as one of the top two candidates from a field of 23 to qualify for a run-off , which will take place because none of the candidates will win more than 50% of the vote. NBC News has yet to predict who Wright will face in the second round.
Wright, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won about 18 percent of the vote in Texas’ 6th Congressional District special election.
Second place came in a battle between State Representative Jake Ellzey, a Republican, and Jana Lynne Sanchez, a Democrat who sought the seat in 2018. With Ellzey holding a narrow lead over Sanchez at 10:45 p.m. ET, c It is possible The Democrats could be excluded from the second round.
The race is the first hotly contested special election in President Joe Biden’s term and took place after Wright’s death following a battle with Covid-19. The race featured a jungle primary with 11 Republicans, 10 Democrats and two more competing.
Get updated race results live on NBC News
The total vote was divided with around 60% going to the GOP candidates and 40% to the Democrats.
The district, which encompasses a suburban swath of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis, has been represented by a Republican for over 30 years and Ron Wright won his election last fall by about 9 points. It was feared that a Democratic candidate would be excluded from a possible second round, leaving two Republicans to clash. Yet the neighborhood itself is oriented to the left. As the 2012 GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney won the district by 17 points, while former President Donald Trump won it last fall by just 3.
Wright’s widow has long been considered the first. Other Republicans include three former Trump administration officials – Brian Harrison, Sery Kim and Michael Egan – plus Ellzey, Michael Wood, an Afghanistan war veteran and an anti-Trump Republican who won the support of Representative Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. , and Dan Rodimer, a former professional wrestler who competed in a Nevada congressional race last year.
Trump endorsed Wright late in the race, though several Republicans are eagerly vying for his support. At the end of this week, the contest was clouded by a robocall in the neighborhood accusing Wright of causing her husband’s death.
The call, a recording of which was obtained by NBC News, was first reported by Politico. “It is illegal, immoral and false. There is no sewer too deep that some politicians do not want to dig,” Wright said in a statement to Politico. The Wright campaign returned the call to local and federal law enforcement, and its origins are still unclear.
On the Democratic side, Sanchez was considered the party favorite. Other contenders included Lydia Bean, a former candidate for the State House, and Shawn Lassiter, a leader and nonprofit educator.