87th LegislatureElections 2021State HouseBrian Harrison Claims Victory Over Former Rep. John Wray in Texas House District 10

Brian Harrison will fill the vacancy left by Jake Ellzey when he resigned the seat after being elected to Congress.
September 28, 2021
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After a heated special election and runoff marked by personal attacks, Brian Harrison has claimed victory over former Rep. John Wray in the race to be the state representative for House District 10.

Unofficial election results from the Texas Secretary of State show Harrison received 55 percent of the vote or 6,717 ballots, while Wray came in second with 45 percent of the vote with 5,412 ballots. Voter turnout was 10 percent in Ellis County and 4 percent in Henderson County.

Celebrating his victory in a Facebook post on Wednesday, Harrison said that “there is no greater threat to our liberties than the unconstitutional and illegal actions coming out of the Biden Administration.”

“Tara and I want to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone in HD10 who put their faith in me to be their voice in the Texas Legislature,” Harrison wrote.

“Our positive campaign for freedom, liberty, and Constitutional limits on governmental power resonated with thousands, and I look forward to working every day to fight against government overreach in pursuit of our shared goal of a more free and prosperous Texas.”

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Earlier in the day, Wray had also thanked his supporters and wished Harrison well.

“Michele and I are grateful for the outpouring of support and all our incredible volunteers, voters, and supporters,” Wray tweeted.

“We are grateful for the past opportunity to represent conservatie values in Austin and will continue to seek ways to serve our community. We wish all the best to State Rep-Elect Brian Harrison as he seeks to advocate the values of HD 10.”

On the day of the special election on August 31, Harrison came in first with 41 percent of the vote while Wray received 36 percent.

Wray previously held the seat from 2015 until January of this year when he was succeeded by Jake Ellzey. Ellzey endorsed Wray after he won a special election to replace the late Congressman Ron Wright (R-TX-6).

Governor Greg Abbott congratulated Harrison on his victory soon after the results became clear late Tuesday.

“Congratulations to Brian Harrison on his hard-fought victory in House District 10,” Abbott said in a press release issued by the governor’s campaign. “Brian will be a dependable, principled leader in the legislature on behalf of North Texans. Working together, we will ensure an even brighter future for the Lone Star State.”

One of Abbott’s primary opponents, Don Huffines, also congratulated Harrison, calling his win a “victory against the Austin Swamp.”

Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) tweeted, “Congratulations to [Brian Harrison] for his win in the HD10 runoff election. I look forward to working with him in the Texas House.”

Harrison had received the endorsement of United States Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“As President Trump’s chief of staff at HHS, Brian helped us accomplish numerous conservative victories, like locking down the border to stop illegal immigration and to stop COVID-19 and like defunding Planned Parenthood and slashing government regulations and taxes,” Cruz said in his endorsement.

The race began with eight candidates, including one Democrat who ultimately received little more than one-tenth of the vote.

Harrison has called Wray “an unethical career politician” and characterized his campaign as “the most dishonest and cynical I’ve ever experienced.” Meanwhile, Wray accused Harrison of exaggerating his achievements and leading people to believe he was President Trump’s chief of staff.

Harrison was the chief of staff to United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar during the Trump administration. He was also one of the unsuccessful candidates for the congressional seat that Ellzey won.

Harrison will be sworn in as the Texas legislature draws the new congressional and state legislative districts for the coming election cycle and beyond.

As this was a special election to fill an unexpired term, Harrison will still have to run for the seat again next year to be a Texas House member during the next regular session in 2023.

Update: This article has been updated with reactions from Harrison, Wray, Abbott, Huffines, and Phelan.

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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan. He has coached high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.