Because Jake Ellzey beat a fellow Republican who had Donald Trump’s endorsement in the Texas-6 special U.S. House race Tuesday, much of the national media is interpreting the outcome as a clear repudiation of the 45th president.
The problem with this conclusion, several Lone Star State Republicans told Newsmax, is that it doesn’t hold water.
With near-final results in, Ellzey, former state legislator and U.S. Navy aviator, rolled up 53% against Susan Wright, widow of the late Republican Rep. Ron Wright (whose death in February resulted in the special election).
Susan Wright had Trump’s strong endorsement during the initial 23-candidate primary in which she led with 19% of the vote.
But Ellzey, who placed second with a surprisingly strong 13.8% of the vote, also ran as a Trump supporter.
On virtually every issue, Ellzey was as conservative as Susan Wright — pro-life, pro-gun, anti-tax, and anti-illegal immigration.
To attack spots from Wright’s team that he shared President Biden’s position on illegal immigration ("Their plans. Their crisis. Bad for Texas"), Ellzey brought out popular former Republican Gov. Rick Perry to respond.
"Jake Ellzey is for being for America First for a long time," declared Perry in a hard-hitting video for the man who served as his director of Veterans Affairs for six years.
Perry, who served as Trump’s secretary of energy, contacted the former president during the campaign to say that he was "sold a bill of goods" that Ellzey was somehow less than conservative.
Along with Perry, Ellzey was endorsed by fellow Navy veteran and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, considered a conservative star in the Lone Star State, and by Ron Wright’s predecessor in Congress, former GOP Rep. Joe Barton.
Trump, however, re-stated his endorsement of Wright days before the voting and his Save America political action committee deployed a last-minute $100,000 independent expenditure on her behalf.
Money was a critical factor in Ellzey’s upset win. The former state legislator raised nearly three times as much as Wright — $1.23 million to $454,000.
Republican sources in the Fort Worth-area district agreed that the choice of two Republicans to compete in the runoff resulted in a far lower turnout that expected, with many GOP voters concluding they would be represented by a conservative no matter who won.
The lower turnout worked to the benefit of Ellzey, who, sources agreed, had a much more organized campaign than Wright.
There were many reasons Susan Wright became only the fourth congressional widow in 53 years to lose the special election to succeed her late husband. Given the conservatism of Texas-6 and of the triumphant Jake Ellzey, one of those reasons was clearly not her endorsement from Donald Trump.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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