Emerging from a field of 13 candidates, Ron Wright and Jake Ellzey were the top two vote-getters in the March 6 Republican primary for Texas' 6th Congressional District, currently represented by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis.
The two candidates come to the North Texas race from different backgrounds.
Ellzey, a retired Navy pilot, flew combat missions for 20 years, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2006, he served as White House aide under former President George W. Bush. Ellzey now serves on the Texas Veterans Commission and works as a commercial airline pilot and owner of his family’s ice business.
For decades, Wright has lived and worked in Tarrant County – both in the private sector and in government. He has served on the Arlington City Council, as county tax assessor-collector, and as Congressman Barton's district director and chief of staff.
In November 2017, a graphic nude photo of Barton surfaced on social media. Soon after, Barton announced his plans to retire at the end of this term after more than 30 years in Congress.
A longtime Texas oil and energy man, Barton serves on the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, a panel he chaired in the mid-2000s. While he won praise in the energy industry for fighting against pollution controls, environmental advocates were deeply critical.
The winner of the Ellzey-Wright runoff will face the winner of the Democratic runoff in November: Ruby Faye Woolridge or Jana Lynne Sanchez.
In the latest video from our Split Decision campaign debate series, find out why Ellzey and Wright share Barton's skepticism about climate change and why they differ from the incumbent's past support of a guest worker program and path to citizenship for "minor children."