Republican Jake Ellzey recently won the runoff race against fellow Republican Susan Wright in Texas's sixth congressional district. Donald Trump had endorsed Wright, the widow of Congressman Ron Wright who died earlier this year from the coronavirus, but Elsey won with more than 53% of the vote; Wright got just under 47%.
Some election pundits view this race as an early referendum of Republican voters on Donald Trump heading into the 2022 midterms, but Cathie Adams, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, points out that Democrats were a factor here.
"Our elections are open, so Democrats and Republicans alike can vote in the election," she explains. "But I think this really came down to the fact that there's a very strong military influence in that part of Fort Worth, and [Ellzey] is a man with stellar credentials in military, a Navy SEAL, and I think that that was just something that was very hard to overcome for the widow of a former congressman."
Adams goes on to say there is a reason why President Trump did not carry this congressional district in 2020 by the same margin he did in 2016 – another factor that is fueling speculation of his waning popularity there.
"I think it was because of all the mail-in ballots," she submits. "There was an extensive amount of voter fraud in Texas this last 2020 election. President Trump is extremely popular in the state of Texas, and he would have won, hands down, in that district and across the state."
So Adams says the idea that Ellzey won because of anti-Trump sentiment among GOP voters is completely off base.