Pete Flores Defeats Pete Gallego to Become 21st Texas Republican Senator

September 19, 2018

Pete Flores Defeats Pete Gallego to Become 21st Texas Republican Senator
Makes good on first ever GOP Caucus endorsement in open seat with strong support from Lt. Governor, et al
Flores is the first Hispanic Republican Senator and his victory is first for Republicans in SD19 in 139 years 

AUSTIN – In a tremendous victory, Republican Pete Flores defeated Democrat Pete Gallego in the Senate District 19 special election to replace resigned Senator Carlos Uresti. Unified Republican support for Flores all the way from US Senators, to Governor Abbott, especially Lt. Governor Patrick, the entire Texas Senate Republican Caucus, and many others helped drive Senator-Elect Flores to a 53-47% win, a net 18 points above Hillary Clinton’s 12 point win in SD 19 in 2016. This victory gives Texas Senate Republicans a 21-vote (2/3rds) supermajority and flipped a seat that has not seen a Republican victory in 139 years.

“I am honored by the trust the voters of SD 19 have placed in me to serve them in the Texas Senate and I will not let them down,” said Flores. “I will work hard to represent them and look forward to passing meaningful property tax reform, supporting our energy industry and the infrastructure that is needed in the Eagle Ford and defending innocent life and the 2nd Amendment in the legislative session. I am grateful to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Senate Republican Caucus for their support. The real work begins now!”

A broad coalition of Republicans, led by Lt. Governor Patrick raised and spent roughly $172,000 in-kind in support of the Flores campaign. Even with this effort, they were outspent by Pete Gallegos, which makes Flores’ six-point margin of victory in this traditionally Democratic district even more impressive. The Texas Senate Republican Caucus unanimously endorsed Pete Flores in their first ever endorsement in an open seat as well. A copy of that press release is attached. “With the continuation of his hard work, coupled with the elimination of straight ticket voting in Texas for the 2020 cycle, I predict that Senator-Elect Flores will hold this seat in 2020,” said Texas Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Paul Bettencourt.

This continues a history of strong in-kind support from Lt. Governor Patrick for Republican Senate candidates in the primaries. Governor Abbott, the Republican Party of Texas, and many other alliance partners contributed to this success, but as Senator-Elect Flores noted, it was the volunteers on the ground making the difference that put him over the edge.

“There are now two Senate Republicans from the San Antonio area as Flores joins Senator Campbell at the Capitol,” added Texas Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Paul Bettencourt. “Not only has his win doubled the number of Republican Senators in San Antonio, but it has doubled the number of Aggies in the Texas Senate as well…which apparently, per Senators Nichols and Birdwell, equals the number of Lamar Cardinals in the Texas Senate…LOL” he quipped.

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