Democrats suffer defeat in Texas House race as Republicans advance to runoff

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) can’t seem to catch a break in her efforts to soup up her caucus’ razor-thin majority in the lower chamber.

According to Fox News, all eyes were on Texas this weekend as Democrats suffered a major defeat in a special election out of the 6th Congressional District. Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez fell hundreds of votes short of the two Republican candidates who will now advance to a runoff to fill a vacant seat left by the late Republican Rep. Ron Wright.

Disappointed Democrats

Making the GOP victory even more special is that one of the winners who will now be in the upcoming runoff race is Susan Wright, the wife of Ron Wright, who died earlier this year from complications of COVID-19.

Given that the open seat was seen by some as what Fox described as a bellwether for future elections, Democrats, who’ve thrown massive resources into Texas races in hopes of shifting the political landscape there from deep red to purple and eventually blue, expressed disappointment over Sanchez’s defeat.

“Democrats have come a long way toward competing in Texas but we still have a way to go,” Sanchez said in a statement on Sunday, after being defeated by less than 400 votes, according to Fox. “Unfortunately, tonight we came up short, and two Republicans will be competing to represent this Congressional district.”

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa had a different outlook, praising Sanchez for a good fight and expressing optimism that Texas is closer than ever to becoming a state that Democrats can regularly count on.

“The new Democratic South is rising, and we will continue to rally our movement to take back our state — including as we look toward the 2022 governor’s race,” Hinojosa said, as Fox reported.

The kingmaker strikes again

Not only was Susan Wright, who will be squaring off against fellow Republican Jake Ellzey, already a popular candidate with Texas voters, but in late April, she snagged a political golden ticket: an official endorsement from Donald Trump. The former president has been selectively using his political influence to pick Republican winners not only for special elections, but ultimately for high-profile races in the 2022 midterms.

Trump issued a statement upon learning of the congressional hopeful’s success reminding followers that she “surged” after his endorsement in April.

“The Democrats have just conceded the race,” Trump said, according to Fox. “Susan surged after I gave her an endorsement last week. Her wonderful husband is looking down, and is very proud of her!”

There’s no doubt that Pelosi wanted Sanchez to secure a spot in order to potentially give Democrats a little padding for their weak majority, but once again, Trump’s political influence ultimately won the day.

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