July 28 (UPI) -- After failing to make it three years ago, Texas Republican Jake Ellzey's second run for a seat in the U.S. Congress is a winner.
Ellzey is projected to defeat fellow Republican Susan Wright in a special election runoff to represent Texas' 6th District in the U.S. House, with about 53% of the vote to Wright's 47%.
Ellzey, 51, formerly served as a commander in the U.S. Navy and became a member of the Texas House in January. He was also a White House aide during the administration of former President George W. Bush.
"Shelby and I are incredibly grateful to every person who backed us with their endorsement, their volunteer hours, and their votes," Ellzey tweeted Wednesday. "We are excited to serve you in Congress and you have my word that I will always put the best interests and Texas values of [my constituents] first."
"I want to congratulate Congressman-elect Jake Ellzey on his victory," Wright tweeted. "I am praying for his success and wish him well."
His victory is viewed as somewhat of a rebuke of former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Wright in the race. Ellzey had the support of many high-profile Texas conservatives, including former Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Dan Crenshaw.
Wright was running to succeed her late husband, Rep. Ron Wright, who died of COVID-19 in February. He was the first sitting member of Congress to die of the coronavirus disease.
"She has great endorsements. I had great endorsements that I'm very proud of but at the end of the day, the candidates had to get out and run their own campaigns," Ellzey told the Dallas Morning News.
Ellzey, a former Navy pilot and combat veteran, first ran for the seat in 2018 but lost to Ron Wright.
Ellzey and Wright advanced to Tuesday's runoff after Texas' May 1 special election did not produce a majority winner. Ellzey actually finished second to Wright in the May vote and narrowly edged Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez to advance to the runoff.
The 6th District includes about 800,000 residents and covers an area to the south and west of Dallas. It includes the city of Midlothian and covers much of Ellis and Navarro counties.