United For Liberty

State Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Waxahachie, is suddenly under intense fire from his right flankas he has emerged as a leading candidate in the special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, R-Arlington.

The Club for Growth, the national anti-tax group, is spending six figures trying to stop him ahead of the May 1 contest. One GOP competitor — Wright’s widow, Susan Wright — is accusing him of being soft on immigration — like President Joe Biden, she claims. And on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz voiced opposition to Ellzey, one of 11 Republicans running.

“Texans in CD-6 deserve a strong conservative voice in Congress,” Cruz said in a statement to The Texas Tribune. “Jake Ellzey’s financial support from never-Trumpers, openness to amnesty, and opposition to school choice should concern Texans looking for a conservative leader.”

Cruz’s team provided the statement after the Tribune asked for the senator’s position on the race, a lingering point of interest after another GOP candidate, Dan Rodimer, began his campaign last month while reportedly claiming Cruz’s encouragement to run. Cruz has not endorsed a candidate in the race.

Early voting began Monday for the special election to fill the seat of Wright, who died in February after being hospitalized with COVID-19. There are 23 candidates total, and other top GOP contenders include Susan Wright, a GOP activist, as well as Brian Harrison, the former chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Donald Trump. There are 10 Democrats running, and they are hoping to advance to an all-but-guaranteed runoff and then flip the Republican-leaning seat.

But for now, Ellzey is the center of attention, at least on the GOP side. Ellzey has been building momentum in recent days, and campaign finance reports released Monday showed that he was not only the top fundraiser from either party but that he also had more money in the bank for the homestretch than any other candidate. Ellzey raised $504,000 in under two months and had $400,000 cash on hand as of April 11.

The Club for Growth plunged into the special election last week and has since disclosed spending $160,000 attacking Ellzey in mailboxes and on TV. The offensive centers on a $250 donation that Ellzey got from Bill Kristol, a prominent intraparty critic of Trump, when Ellzey first ran for the congressional seat in 2018, facing RonWright in a primary runoff.

“Maybe the most vicious Never Trump hitman said he was ‘impressed’ with Ellzey and gave him a campaign contribution,” a narrator says in the 30-second TV spot.

Full Article – https://www.texastribune.org/2021/04/20/jake-ellzey-special-election/

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