Governor Greg Abbott called a special election to fill the unexpired term of Carlos Uresti who resigned as State Senator following his conviction on multiple felony counts. The election will be held on July 31, 2018 in 17 counties situated in Senate District 19 (SD19) and in parts of Bexar and Atascosa counties that lie in the Senate District. Early voting begins July 16 and runs through July 27.
Eight candidates filed by the June 25 deadline. Two candidates are from Atascosa County – Peter Flores, Pleasanton, Republican and Charlie Urbina Jones, Poteet, Democrat. The remaining candidates for State Senator, District 19, Special Election: Jesse (Jay) Alaniz, (R), San Antonio; Pete Gallego, (D), San Antonio; Roland Gutierrez, (D) San Antonio; Carlos Antonio Raymond, (R), San Antonio; Tomas Uresti, (D), San Antonio and Tony Valdivia, Libertarian, San Antonio.
The candidate elected will hold the seat until it expires in 2021.
SD19 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. SD19 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.
But as large as SD (19) is voter turnout for this special election is expected to be low due to the late summer month and quick timing of the vote.
SD19 is known as a historically Democratic district. Uresti, a Democrat, held his Senate seat since November 2006. Special elections create unique environments and political pundits are saying the race can be won by either party. Voter turnout will be crucial. According to the 2010 census, SD19 is comprised of 66.7 percent Hispanic, 24.4 percent Anglos, 7.5 percent Black, and 2.3 other. With just a little over 36 days to prepare a campaign, the race is on for these eight candidates. 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. Candidates with name recognition and the ability to motivate individuals to vote will have a head start in this race.
Flores, a retired Texas Game Warden Colonel, residing in Pleasanton was the Republican nominee in 2016 for the Texas State Senate District 19 position. Flores gained a name for himself in this race against incumbent Senator Uresti by receiving 97,692 votes which equaled 40 percent of the vote. A native of South Texas, Flores grew up on the Mexican Border; graduated from Texas A&M University and served for 27 years as a Texas Peace Officer across the State, including the far west and San Antonio.
“We live in a Constitutional Republic, and our officials must be public servants who should work hard in service to the people of the District,” said Flores. “They should have the utmost integrity and dedication to duty. I will bring integrity, dedication, service and most of all representation to all the 17 counties of Texas Senate District 19. The people deserve nothing less.”
“I am not a career politician. I am most representative of the people in the District: middle class; married for 34 years and a taxpayer. My experience in government, public service, and life as a South Texan will serve the District well as your next State Senator,” said Flores.
Charles Jones of Poteet is a San Antonio attorney, Viet Nam veteran and democratic activist. He graduated with a geology degree from St. Mary’s University and earned his Juris doctor at Texas Southern University. Jones served as a captain with the 101st Airborne Division in Viet Nam. He is a proud member of the American Legion and Alamo Post 2 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 76. Jones pledged to be a fiscal conservative but progressive on social issues. “I offer my years of experience tirelessly working for Texas families, veterans, individual rights and educational opportunities for all our citizens. I am a veteran, business owner, taxpayer, husband, father, and grandfather. I humbly ask for your support for election to the state Senate representing District 19.”