At least 10 candidates have taken a formal step toward running in the May 1 special election to succeed the late U.S. Rep. Ron Wright (R-Arlington), including his wife Susan, who announced her candidacy today (Wednesday) and established a campaign committee for the race. She was endorsed by Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) and Tarrant Co. Republican chair Rick Barnes. Tinderholt had been reportedly considering the race.
Freshman Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie) established a campaign committee for the race. He lost to Wright in the 2018 Republican runoff, 52%-48%. At least four other Republicans have entered the race: Mansfield tax attorney John Anthony Castro, Arlington finance executive Mike Egan, Dallas writer and producer Monty Markland, and Austin/Seattle, Wash. entrepreneur Asa Palagi. Ellzey would not have to resign his House seat to run in this special election. Castro formed a campaign committee to challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) in 2020 but did not file for the office. Palagi ran for Washington governor as an independent in 2020 but withdrew before the election.
Katrina Pierson, a former campaign spokesperson for President Trump, and Brian Harrison, a former chief of staff of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services during the Trump Administration, are considering the race. Others are likely to jump in as well. Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and Fort Worth Police Officers Assoc. president Manny Ramirez are also reportedly considering the race.
At least four Democrats have announced their candidacy or established a campaign committee: Arlington sociologist Lydia Bean, Dallas developer Matt Hinterlong, Fort Worth educator Shawn Lassiter and Waxahachie songwriter Jana Lynne Sanchez. Bean lost a 2020 race for HD93 (45%). Lassiter withdrew from a Fort Worth city council race to run for this seat. Sanchez lost the 2018 general election for CD6 to Wright (45%).
At least one Democrat is not seeking the seat: Rep. Chris Turner (D-Arlington). “The best way for me to serve Tarrant County is to focus all my time and energy on the huge set of challenges facing our state in the current legislative session,” he said in a statement.
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