DALLAS, TX —In perhaps his first and most stunning defeat since his reelection loss of 2020, ex-President Donald Trump’s handpicked successor Susan Wright failed to win the US Senate seat vacated after her late husband’s death in February.
Instead, Texas State Representative Jake Ellzey defeated the former president’s anointed candidate. (Susan Wright is the widow of Ron Wright, who held the US Senate Congressional District 6 seat until his death from COVID-19 related complications earlier this year.)
The upset illustrates that as strong as Trump’s hold on the Republican Party may yet remain, it is not a chain without weak links.
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In many a pundit’s view, Trump’s endorsement was based on Wright’s late husband’s loyalty to the ex-president, since Sen. Ron Wright was one of the handful of Republicans who declined to certify ballots states that elected Trump’s rival, President Joe Biden, in 2020.
More than a referendum on either Susan Wright or Ellzey, the contest was considered a scale by which Trump’s current influence with voters might be calculated.
The former President’s endorsement was also a bit of a gamble, since several Republicans — including former Trump cabinet appointee and Texas Governor Rick Perry — had issues with the endorsement. And it’s worth noting that Trump never actually campaigned for Wright. He merely hosted a pair of tele-rallies and endorsed her.
In claiming victory, Ellzey asserted that it was his message of positivity that resonated with voters, in a clear attempt to shift the focus from Trump’s preference.
In describing Wright, Ellzey said, “She had great endorsements. I had great endorsements that I’m very proud of. But at the end of the day, the candidates had to get out and run their own campaigns — because that’s the guy or lady who will represent District 6 on the floor of the House of Representatives.”
He concluded by adding that “the people of District 6 are great people and I will represent them with quiet professionalism.”
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