ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Two Republicans emerged from a total of 23 candidates to advance to the runoff in the Texas 6th Congressional District.
Susan Wright, widow of the late Congressman Ron Wright, and state Rep. Jake Ellzey, of Waxahachie, received the most votes.
Wright won 15,052, 19%, of the vote while Ellzey won 10,851, 14%, of the vote.
The Associated Press declared Wright would make the runoff at 9:45 p.m. Saturday, but the final results didn’t become clear until after 11 p.m.
The seat became open earlier this year after Congressman Wright died after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He had also battled cancer.
The sixth district is in a part of Tarrant County and all of Ellis and Navarro counties.
Democratic candidate Jana Lynne Sanchez, who ran for the seat in 2018, came in third.
She had 13% with 10,497 votes, just 354 behind Ellzey.
The date for the runoff will be set by Gov. Greg Abbott, possibly later this week.
Wright and Ellzey recently won big-name endorsements but also received negative attacks.
On Friday, Wright and her campaign expressed outrage after an anonymous robocall sent to district voters making baseless claims she killed her husband.
Her campaign said it immediately contacted the FBI.
Wright won the endorsement from former President Donald Trump and the conservative group Club for Growth, which held a tele-townhall for her.
Ellzey had his conservative credentials questioned by Club for Growth and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
But Ellzey won the support of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who served as U.S. Energy Secretary in the Trump administration.
Perry campaigned with Ellzey Friday in Waxahachie.
Wright had the most votes in Tarrant County, where she won the backing of most, if not all Republican Party leaders early on.
She also won the most votes in Navarro County.
Ellzey won the most votes in Ellis County.
In 2018, Sanchez won the most votes in Tarrant County, but lost by wider margins in Ellis and Navarro Counties to Ron Wright.
In 2020, it was the same story for the Democrat candidate Stephen Daniel.