Well, I’m not sure many people saw this coming:
Winning in a district long held by Democrats, Republican John Lujan outpolled Tomás Uresti in Tuesday’s special runoff in Texas House District 118.
Filling a seat vacated last year by former state Rep. Joe Farias, D-San Antonio, the GOP candidate will serve out the remainder of Farias’ unexpired term, through the end of the year.
Another election is set for March 1 to fill the seat for a two-year term starting in 2017. Lujan and Uresti are seeking their parties’ nominations in that race, and each has a primary opponent, so the winner won’t be decided until Nov. 8.
“The district with about 87,000 voters handed Lujan the win by a 171-vote margin.”
State District 118 is three-quarters Hispanic and largely suburban/exurban, and in the 2012 election it went 60/40 for Democrat Joe Farias, who resigned in August. Why he resigned, triggering a special election, is a good question, as he had already announced he would not run for reelection this year, and the House is not scheduled to convene until 2017.
Despite the fact that the district is going to be hard to hold in November, it’s still an impressive feat for Republicans to have captured it at all. Proving that Republicans can win in clear majority Hispanic districts, and forcing Democrats to devote the time and resources necessary to effectively contest the seat, counts as a big win.
(Hat tip: Moe Lane.)