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Gov. Greg Abbott sets May 1 special election to fill seat of late U.S. Rep. Ron Wright

Early voting in the special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, R-Arlington, will begin April 19. Credit: Montinique Monroe for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has selected May 1 as the date for the special election to succeed late U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, R-Arlington.

Wright died earlier this month after a years-long struggle with cancer and testing positive for COVID-19 in January.

The candidate filing deadline for the special election is March 3, and early voting starts April 19.

The special election for the Republican-leaning seat is set to draw a large crowd, and several candidates have already announced or filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.

On the Republican side, Wright's wife, Susan Wright, is expected to launch a campaign as soon as this week. She could be joined by a slew of potential GOP contenders including state Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Waxahachie; Katrina Pierson, the former Trump campaign spokesperson, and Brian Harrison, who was chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Trump.

Two Democrats have declared their candidacies: Jana Lynne Sanchez, the 2018 Democratic nominee for the seat, and Lydia Bean, last year's Democratic nominee for state House District 93.