The votes are in! Republican candidate Pete Flores and Democratic candidate Pete Gallego are heading to a run-off election to represent Texas Senate District 19, a district that spans from San Antonio to Pecos, touching 17 counties. Flores secured 34% of the vote, while Gallego brought in 29%.
Tuesday’s Special Election was one to watch, because whoever wins the seat could change the tone of the Texas Senate. If Flores wins, it would flip the seat from blue to red and give Republicans the two-thirds majority required to bring a bill to the Senate Floor for debate. Republicans hold 20 seats, while Democrats hold 11, meaning the margin for meeting the 3/5 threshold for certain procedural points is slim.
Governor Abbott has 14 days after the election to certify the results. He then has two options to call for a run-off election: he can call the run-off between 70 and 77 days after the certification is complete, or he can exercise his executive power and set it earlier, between 20 and 45 days. Whichever route the Governor chooses to take, the run-off will not take place on November 6.
Voter turnout was dismal, with just under 13,000 people casting their votes in Bexar County, equivalent to just 4.4%. In an effort to educate our members, your Chamber is asking Flores and Gallegos to participate in a debate early September. We will also be launching a voter engagement program later this month to educate residents and urge them to hit the polls on election day.