In a phone call with Axios on Wednesday, Mr Trump insisted that the defeat of Susan Wright in the election to represent Texas’s 6th congressional district was not a “loss” for him, given that her opponent was a Republican.
Axios reported that the race between Ms Wright and the victor, Congressman-elect Jake Ellzey, had created a divide between some of Mr Trump’s inner circle and the conservative Club for Growth, whose director urged the former president to endorse Ms Wright for office.
“This is the only race we’ve lost together”, Mr Trump said of the Club for Growth, before apparently correcting himself and adding: “This is the only race we’ve ... this is not a loss, again, I don’t want to claim it is a loss, this was a win.
“The big thing is, we had two very good people running that were both Republicans. That was the win”, he added.
While the insistence of his own victory may seem nonsensical to some, the former president is clearly intent on maintaining his status as a GOP kingmaker, a brand that will not hold up if candidates with his endorsement lose major races.
The race for Texas’s 6th District may not fall into that category, as turnout was fairly low due largely in part to the race getting little national coverage and it not occurring on the usual election day in November.
Ms Wright lost Tuesday’s special election against Mr Ellzey by just over 2,500 votes in a runoff where less than 40,000 voters participated overall; despite Mr Trump’s endorsement, Mr Ellzey was supported by prominent Texas Republicans including Rep Dan Crenshaw and former Governor Rick Perry, who served as Secretary of Energy in the Trump administration.
The seat was vacated earlier this year by Ms Wright’s husband, former Congressman Ron Wright, who died from Covid-19 in February.