The scenario would quickly end Democrats’ hopes of challenging the rapidly diversifying 6th Congressional District outside of Fort Worth. Democrats sensed an opportunity in the district, one of many across the country where support for former President Donald Trump declined significantly between 2016 and 2020.
Trump lifted the district by just 3 points in 2020 after winning it by 12 points four years earlier. The late GOP representative Ron Wright won his race by 9 points last year.
But there were several credible Democratic candidates in the race, including Sanchez, head of nonprofit Shawn Lassiter and 2020 State House candidate Lydia Bean. Bean followed fellow Democrat Tammy Allison, a lawyer who raised less than $ 50,000 for the race in mid-April, far less than the other candidates.
And in an interview last month, Sanchez warned of a potential shutout, saying it would set a disheartening tone for the Democratic Party going forward in 2021.
“Nothing could bode worse for the Democratic Party than having a winnable district like this with two Republicans in the second round,” Sanchez said, warning of a split vote. “It would be very embarrassing and very disheartening.”
Republican candidates captured 62% of the total vote in the multi-party race, while Democratic candidates won 37%.
The low turnout and setback in recent election performance suggests that motivating their grassroots will not be so easy for Democrats in the post-Trump election, especially compared to the high-turnout box office special elections for years. Trump who motivated the Democrats’ engagement. across the country and saw great outperformance in deep red districts.
Now, with the Democrats in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, the Texas special election was a relatively calm affair.
Susan Wright won a last-minute endorsement from Trump this week, a boost in a tight race, while Ellzey represents part of the district in the state legislature. The Club for Growth has played a disproportionate role in the race so far and will likely be heavily involved in the next step whether the race becomes a Republican vs.Republican event or not.
The club has already unleashed a barrage of attacks portraying Ellzey as an anti-Trump Republican, in large part because he received a donation from Bill Kristol, the conservative commentator and Trump critic.
Then the club endorsed Wright, and David McIntosh, the president of the Trump-eared group, pressured him to do the same. Trump made a last-minute endorsement last Monday, backing Wright, then recording a tele-town hall event for her later in the week.
Other notable candidates in the race finish far in the field, including professional wrestler Dan Rodimer, who ran for Congress in Nevada in 2020; former Trump official Sery Kim, who lost his endorsement after making derogatory comments about Chinese immigrants; and Michael Wood, who presented himself as an anti-Trump Republican with the support of Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). Wood and Rodimer each had about 3 percent of the vote, while Kim had 1 percent.