A Republican Senate candidate, in a stunning upset, has won a seat in Texas that had been held by Democrats for 139 years.
The traditionally reliable blue district seat was won by political newcomer Peter Flores, a former leader of Texas Parks and Wildlife’s statewide law enforcement division, against Democrat Peter Gallego. The upset further eroded hopes of a purported “Blue Wave” touted by Democrats.
Flores is the first Hispanic Republican to serve in the state Senate and also the first Republican elected to Senate District 19 since 1874. He won 53 percent of the vote (23,576) over Gallego’s 47 percent (20,911), according to BallotPedia.
“We did it!” he wrote on Twitter on Sept. 18, the night of his victory, while thanking other Republicans who had given him support. The upset helps solidify the GOP’s control, giving them 21 out of the state’s 31 Senate seats so far.
There was no official statement from Gallego, Flores’s opponent, who wrote in a Facebook post a day after the election that he wanted to give “A heartfelt thanks to all of you who have helped and supported my family & me throughout my journey.”
Flores retired as Colonel Game Warden for Texas Parks in 2012, according to his official campaign website. His stance on issues such as taxes, energy, the constitution, and gun rights is conservative.
“Pete Flores will help keep Texas the greatest state in America,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote on Twitter on election night.
“The 17 County District has flipped from blue to red. @PeteFlores_TX is going to make a great senator & work hard for the people of SD 19,” Dan Patrick, the Lieutenant Governor of Texas said. “I am proud to have endorsed him.”
In a Sept. 19 opinion piece, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich further dismissed talk of a “blue wave.”
“Flores, a political newcomer competing against a seasoned former Democratic congressman, won in a district that is 73 percent Hispanic and African American—despite virtually all political analysts’ expectations,” Gingrich wrote for Fox News.
“Republicans everywhere should also study this Texas state special election and make the 2018 midterms a big choice election for all American voters,” he added. “And with only 48 days left until November 6, they must act now.”
Meanwhile, in Texas, Incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is being challenged by Rep. Beto O’Rourke in the upcoming general election. According to a Sept. 18 poll by RealClearPolitics, Cruz is leading by about 5 percent.
From The Epoch Times