Recommending a single candidate in the Republican primary for the 6th Congressional District was difficult. This editorial board disagrees with most of the candidates who seem to believe that immigrant Dreamers who came here as children should leave the country and apply for legal status or be deported. We also disagree with most of the candidates who see little danger in the president’s harsh name-calling of foreign leaders or countries. We believe that escalates international tensions.
Having said that, we were looking for a candidate with proven accomplishments; the ability to independently represent the district; and qualities that would allow him or her to stand out in Washington and secure federal support for projects and people at home.
This editorial board met with eight of the 11 candidates on the ballot and concluded that retired Navy pilot J.K. "Jake" Ellzey has those qualities.
Ellzey has an impressive military record that indicates discipline and a commitment to service. His work with the Texas Veterans Commission has given him an understanding of that community's needs, and a desire to continue improving Veterans Affairs services.
Ellzey, 48, of Midlothian, has a good grasp of the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula and the potential to be an authoritative voice on national defense. He has a strong presence and could distinguish himself among other representatives, drawing attention to priorities in the district.
We also gave a lot of consideration to Ron Wright, 64, who has served well and without impropriety as Tarrant County tax assessor and as an Arlington City Council member. Wright is familiar with the district after 11 years as Rep. Joe Barton’s district director, then chief of staff.
Wright is a known quantity but seemed lackluster. It bothered us that he said he would join the Freedom Caucus, one of the farthest right groups in Congress. Its members have been instrumental in scuttling compromise legislation supported by a majority of congressional Republicans.
Kevin Harrison, 51, impressed us as thoughtful and informed. The Bible college founder offers more humane solutions for immigrant Dreamers; was forthright in condemning the president’s name calling while supporting many of his policies; and talked specifically about what he’d do to curb the costs of Medicare and Social Security. Harrison lacks the civic experience, however, that would tell us more about how he would perform in Congress.
We hope Ellzey will give additional consideration to providing legal status to Dreamers who have lived here since childhood. And we’d like him to suggest more than commissioning a study for how Congress can control spending on Medicare and Social Security, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the federal budget.
However, because we believe he has the leadership qualities to be a strong representative, we recommend J.K. “Jake” Ellzey for the GOP nomination in the 6th Congressional District.