Voters decide to keep Congressman Joe Barton’s seat red

Ron Wright
Ron Wright Courtesy

Republican Ron Wright was winning the battle to replace Congressman Joe Barton against Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez in an election night characterized by much number crunching.

With all 776 precints reporting, Wright won with 53 percent. Sanchez had 45 percent of the votes, according to unofficial election results.

The votes are not official until canvassed.

By about 11:30 p.m., Sanchez’s campaign said the race was over and Wright signaled victory.

“Tonight is a testament to the power of conservative grassroots, and the principles Texas holds dear,” Wright told the Star-Telegram in a statement. “I am honored the people of CD 6 have put their trust in me, and I hope to represent each and every one of them going forward.”

Earlier in the evening, Sanchez braced for a long night of number crunching. Throughout the night, she led in the Tarrant County portion of the district.

“We think it is going to be an extremely late night,” Sanchez said. “It will all hinge on turnout on Election Day.”

At 11:30 p.m., Sanchez was leading in Tarrant County with 51.8 percent of 176,810 votes tabulated and 164 of 182 precincts reporting. Wright had 46.6 percent of Tarrant County votes. Sanchez’s lead in Tarrant County started with early voting results and continued throughout the night.

Wright campaigned on border security and standing up to the Washington establishment. He has served on the Arlington City Council, as Barton’s chief of staff and district director and, since 2011, as Tarrant County’s tax assessor collector.

Sanchez, a public relations specialist and former journalist, moved back to Waxahachie to care for aging parents. Her family has lived in the area for years.

Sanchez, the granddaughter of migrant farm workers, stressed the value of the American Dream throughout her campaign.

The two-year congressional post pays $174,000 a year. The district includes parts of east and southwest Fort Worth, most of Arlington and Mansfield and all of Ellis and Navarro counties.

Barton, of Ennis, came under fire last year for a nude photo shared online and private messages with sexual overtones with a female constituent. He announced late last year that he would not seek another term in office.

Barton had held the post since 1985. His term ends in January.

Staff writer Anna Tinsley contributed to this report.

This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.