AUSTIN, Texas — Voters in Texas have dealt former President Donald Trump a defeat within the GOP.
Republican Jake Ellzey on Tuesday won a special election for a U.S. House seat over a rival backed by the former president.
The upset victory over Republican Susan Wright is likely to be celebrated as a sign of hope by Trump antagonists who have warned against his continued hold on the GOP.
Wright's husband, Rep. Ron Wright, died in February of COVID-19 complications. She announced shortly after that she would run for his seat, and was endorsed by Trump.
"Special elections are special, and this one was no exception. I want to congratulate Congressman-elect Jake Ellzey on his victory," Wright tweeted late Tuesday night.
Ellzey is a Republican state legislator who did not try distancing himself from Trump but sought to overcome the lack of his endorsement through aggressive fundraising and other prominent supporters. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had endorsed Ellzey.
Trump won the district by 12 points in 2016, but only by three points in 2020.