Special election runoff between John Wray and Brian Harrison for state House district in North Texas set for Sept. 28

The Texas Capitol on June 10, 2021.
The Texas Capitol on June 10, 2021.

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday announced that Sept. 28 will be the date of the special election runoff to replace former state Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Waxahachie, setting up a two-week sprint to the contest.

Early voting begins Monday.

The runoff features two Republicans: John Wray, Ellzey's predecessor in the seat, and Brian Harrison, the former chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under former President Donald Trump. Harrison finished first in the eight-way special election late last month, getting 41% of the vote to 36% for Wray.

The vacancy in House District 10 was created in July when Ellzey ascended to Congress. The district covers rural areas south and east of Dallas, and it is safely Republican.

Ellzey endorsed Wray to succeed him, while Harrison's top supporter is U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. The runoff is already contentious, with the candidates trading accusations of deceptive campaign tactics Tuesday.

Sept. 28 is also the date that Abbott has selected for the special election to fill the seat of former state Rep. Leo Pacheco, D-San Antonio.

Join us Sept. 20-25 at the 2021 Texas Tribune Festival. Tickets are on sale now for this multi-day celebration of big, bold ideas about politics, public policy and the day’s news, curated by The Texas Tribune’s award-winning journalists. Learn more.