87th LegislatureElections 2021IssuesState HouseBrian Harrison, John Wray Head to a Runoff for Texas House Seat to Replace Congressman Jake Ellzey

Turnout in the special election, which took place in Ellis and Henderson Counties, was less than nine percent.
September 1, 2021
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The race for Texas House District 10 is headed for a runoff after no candidate received more than half of the votes cast in Tuesday’s special election to replace Congressman Jake Ellzey (R-TX-6).

House District 10 includes all of Ellis County and part of Henderson County.

Unofficial results showed Brian Harrison received 41 percent of the vote with 4,613 ballots, while John Wray received 36 percent of the vote with 4,031 ballots. The two will continue to campaign for state representative until a runoff election to be set by Governor Greg Abbott. Turnout in the race was less than nine percent.

The lone Democrat in the running, Pierina Otiniano, finished third, receiving 11 percent of the vote with 1,281 ballots.

As for the remaining Republican candidates, Kevin Griffin made fourth place with eight having received 883 votes and Midlothian Councilman Clark Wickliffe received three percent with 351 votes.

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Another GOP candidate, Susan Mellina Hayslip, filed the paperwork to place her name on the ballot. However, she would later endorse Harrison, calling him “the faithful conservative voice that we can all trust and the right choice for District 10.”

An independent candidate, Scott Goodwin, and Libertarian Matt Savino each received less than one percent of the vote.

Wray previously served in the seat from 2015 until Ellzey was elected and took office in January of this year. Ellzey would announce his candidacy for Congress only months later, cutting short his single term in the Texas House.

Harrison enjoys the endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and was the chief of staff to United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar during the Trump administration. He was also a candidate in the congressional race Ellzey won.

Abbott scheduled the special election after voters in the 6th congressional district elected Ellzey to the United States House.

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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.