I Ran for Congress and the Man Who Beat Me Is Working to Destroy Our Democracy

4 mins read
Trump Stop the Steal Rally DC Jan 6

When Donald Trump was elected it changed my life.

As I have said thousands of times since the election that brought us Donald Trump: I never slept on November 8, but I sure as hell woke up on November 9. 

In January 2017 I gave up my relatively carefree existence working as a communications consultant. Instead, I threw everything I had — including my company, income and bank account — into efforts to help Democrats win back the House and launched a long-shot bid for U.S. Congress in a solidly Republican district (Texas District 6). I did so because I feared exactly what transpired on January 6, 2021 — an authoritarian government supported by white nationalists. I am only surprised it took so long. As a student of history and the Holocaust, I believe the last four years would have been even worse were it not for the glaring incompetence of President Trump and his Cabinet. 

The man who defeated me, Rep. Ron Wright, is one of the seditious members of Congress who objected to the certification of the electoral college votes.

Wright’s actions are immoral and cynical as they are designed simply to pander to Trump supporters and avoid a primary challenge. More importantly, they are criminally actionable as they support sedition and insurrection. Being a real “patriot” means supporting the Constitution and an orderly transfer of power. These are the principles on which our democracy is founded. 

The election, which the outgoing president lost by more than 7 million votes and 76 electoral votes, was decided on November 3, 2020. Biden and Harris’s election was certified by 50 state legislatures and reconfirmed in 62 spurious lawsuits filed by a losing candidate desperate to hold onto power by whatever means possible. It bears noting that Wright has not challenged the legitimacy of his own reelection in 2020 on the same ballot in which his margin increased as Trump’s decreased. 

Wright’s objection is voter suppression in its most extreme form: what he actually means is that the votes of people of color living in urban areas in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona and other states Trump didn’t expect to lose simply should not be counted. Wright claims to denounce violence while doubling down on these voter suppression efforts. I will continue to call him out for his anti-American tactics. Voting is the foundation of our Republic.

After I lost in November 2018, I didn’t stop working to save our democracy. I co-founded Tarrant Together with other women who ran for office that year. We register and activate voters in Tarrant County. Our goal remains to increase voter participation, particularly among those whose voices are not heard, including voters of color and young voters. I’ve also been busy supporting Democratic candidates, especially women candidates, through my work with WomenWin and Progress Texas. 

Watching in horror as supporters of Trump and Wright launched a bloody coup on our government with the blessing of both men reminded me why I ran in the first place — to save my country from men like them. It also helped me recommit to redoubling my efforts to defeat at the ballot box all who continue to perpetuate these lies, including Wright. We need representatives who believe in the Constitution, who understand that all eligible Americans deserve the right to vote, and who will fight for all votes to be counted.

Photo courtesy of Voice of America. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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Jana Lynne Sanchez lives in Fort Worth, Texas. Her 2018 race for Congress was chronicled in the Showtime documentary Surge, which was produced by actor and activist Alyssa Milano.


  1. just a quick FYI on a typo: “I did so because I feared exactly what transpired on January 6, 2020 — an authoritarian government supported by white nationalists.” should be January 6, 2021. Although it does indeed feel like the whole of 2020 was one big “Groundhog Day” loop, lol…
    Please run again, Ms. Sanchez. By the people, FOR the people! 🙂

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