A Republican Just Won This Texas Senate Seat for the First Time in 139 Years A Republican Just Won This Texas Senate Seat for the First Time in 139 Years – NTK Network

A Republican Just Won This Texas Senate Seat for the First Time in 139 Years

It’s one small data point, but could it indicate something larger for the 2018 midterms?

By NTK Staff | 09.19.2018 @3:00pm
A Republican Just Won This Texas Senate Seat for the First Time in 139 Years

Since Donald Trump became president in early 2017, Democrats have been eager to use any state legislative race or special election win to claim that it’s a sign of pending doom for Republicans in the 2018 midterms.

So, by that same logic, Democrats must be panicked by special election results in one state Senate race in Texas. Republican Pete Flores defeated former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, a Democrat, in the Senate District 19 special election Tuesday night.

Flores’s win marks the first time a Republican has won the seat since Reconstruction, 139 years ago.

According the Secretary of State’s website, Flores won with 53 percent of the vote to Gallego’s 47 percent with 44,487 ballots cast.

Flores and Gallego competed in Tuesday’s runoff after emerging from an eight-candidate field in first- and second-place, respectively, in July’s special election to replace former Sen. Carlos Uresti. The longtime lawmaker vacated his seat in June after being convicted of 11 felony charges.

Flores had the backing of big-name Texas politicians: Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and both U.S. senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.

Gallego’s campaign strategist said he was “shocked by the results,” according to the San Antonio Express-News. “I don’t have any regrets, but I have a lot of disappointment,” he said.

The GOP win, which virtually no political observer expected, will give Texas Republicans a supermajority in the state Senate. That means Republicans will not need the backing of any Democrats to bring their legislation to the floor.

Flores’ win marked an incredible upset in a district that political observers said shouldn’t have been competitive for Republicans. Low turnout in special elections and high-level GOP interests in preserving a Senate supermajority helped push Flores across the line, they said.

While the Republican win in this deep blue district is a welcome surprise for Republicans, it’s another question entirely as to whether this could be a sign of something bigger for Republicans in 2018 across the country. There are 48 days until the November midterms.

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