September 18 has been set by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as the date of the special election runoff between, Pleasanton resident, Pete Flores, Republican and Pete Gallego, Democrat. Early voting begins September 10-14. The candidate elected will hold the seat until it expires in 2021.
Just before Gov. Abbott sent out the proclamation calling for the Sept. 18 election, the Republican Party of Texas attempted to sue to remove Gallego from the ballot by challenging his residency. However, the attempt failed.
Flores won the most votes in the special election held July 31 with 8,965 votes (34.37 percent) of which 1,022 were cast in Atascosa County giving him 64 percent of the total votes here. Gallego earned 254 votes in Atascosa County which was 16.54 percent. Gallego’s total votes for the race were 6,351 for 24.35 percent of the vote. Flores and Gallego ran against six other candidates.
SD (19) is comprised of 17 counties including Brewster, Crockett, Dimmitt, Edwards, Frio, Kinney, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Real, Reeves, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Zavala and parts of Atascosa County and Bexar County. According to the 2010 census, a total of 800,501 civilians reside within Texas’ 19th state senate district making it one of the largest legislative districts in the United States. District 19 covers more than 35,000 square miles and about 400 miles of the Texas-Mexico border. The district contains 55 public school districts, more than 23,000 oil and gas wells, ten state parks, three national parks, and more than 2,700 miles of highways and interstate transportation infrastructure.
SD19 is known as a historically Democratic district. Uresti held this senate seat since November 2006 until he was forced to resign due to 12 felony counts. According to the 2010 census, SD19 is comprised of 66.7 percent Hispanic, 24.4 percent Anglos, 7.5 percent Black, and 2.3 percent other. The candidates had just a little over 36 days to prepare for the first leg of the campaign. They are in the second leg of the race now 35 days away. The race is on for the top two to see who finishes out as the new Texas Senator for SD19. Voter turnout will be key. It will be a fast and furious sprint for candidates to get their messages out and educate voters about who they are and what they stand for as it relates to SD19.
Please read the new feature in the Pleasanton Express on page 5A which features Julie Hilberg, Atascosa County Democratic Chair column, “We, the People” and Marian Knowlton, Atascosa County Republican Party Chair column, “From the Right”. Each week through the November 6 election, these two party leaders will provide information that helps you stay informed on this run off election as well as candidates they feel you should support for the November 6, General Election.