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Republican Susan Wright Heads To Runoff In Texas Congressional Special Election

Updated May 2, 2021 at 9:25 AM ET

Texans around Dallas sent Susan Wright to a runoff election to fill the congressional seat of her late husband, Republican Ron Wright.

Leading with 19% of the vote in Saturday's special election, she will face either Republican Jake Ellzey or Democrat Jana Sanchez. At last count, Ellzey was leading Sanchez by 354 votes.

In a field of 23 candidates vying to replace Ron Wright in the state's 6th Congressional District, none of the candidates captured the majority of votes required to win the seat outright. A date for the runoff has not been set.

Ron Wright, a second-term congressman, died in February after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. He was the first sitting member of Congress to have died of the virus.

The race to fill his seat has become one of the year's most closely watched contests, representing the changing demographics of many suburban congressional districts in the South, and the influence of former President Donald Trump.

Trump has endorsed Wright in the race, giving her a much-desired boost among conservatives. But the district has trended more blue in recent years.

Last year, according to Ballotpedia, Trump won the district by just 3 percentage points as Ron Wright won it by 9 points.

While Wright and other Republicans are tying themselves to the former president, the field also includes an anti-Trump GOP candidate, Michael Wood.

Wright on Friday reached out to federal law enforcement after her campaign learned of robocalls baselessly claiming she had killed her husband. "There's not a sewer too deep that some politicians won't plumb," she said in a statement.

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