A Texas House seat was flipped from Democrat to Republican in a predominantly Hispanic district.
On August 19, 2021, former representative Leo Pacheco, a Democrat resigned as he was going to teach Public Administration at San Antonio College. As a result, a special election to fill the seat was necessary. The race was close and had a lot of eyes on it, as both candidates were supported by national and statewide groups.
In a special election runoff election this week, Republican John Lujan, who briefly held the position before, won Texas House Seat 118 in San Antonio. In the special election in September, Lujan won 42% of the vote and Democrat Frank Ramirez finished with 20%, knocking out the other two Democrats and one Republican who were vying for the seat. The district is in South Texas, a region in which President Joe Biden underperformed in last year’s election. His predecessor recently resigned to pursue college-level teaching.
Lujan is a veteran firefighter and former Bexar County sheriff’s deputy. He focused his campaign on public safety and jobs, two issues that aren’t very controversial. He received support from Texas Governor Greg Abbot and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont). Ramirez campaigned alongside Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor next year against Republican incumbent Abbot, as well as other state Democrats.
After the election was called, with 51.24% going to Lujan and 48.76 to Ramirez, both released statements. “I’m a blessed man to win this for the second time, and to be the only Republican ever to win this seat, I think, is really important for us down here,” Lujan told The Texas Tribune while leaving his election night party. He said his win is part of a “big movement … for conservatism” in the Hispanic community. Ramirez conceded, saying, “We didn’t make it over the line tonight. But we gave Texas Republicans a run for their money at every single step.”