Gov. Greg Abbott ordered a June 14 emergency special election to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville), who resigned. Candidates must file with the Secretary of State by April 13. Early voting will begin May 31.

Abbott cited his disaster declarations related to Covid-19 and border security as the emergency, and he also cited the forthcoming hurricane season as a reason for the district to “have full and effective representation in Congress as soon as possible.”

The election will be run under the current boundaries, not the boundaries being used for this year’s primary and general elections. The Democratic nominee for the general election, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzales (D-McAllen), is already in office in another district. Therefore, if a Democrat were to win this special election, they would serve only until January.

However, if Republican nominee Mayra Flores were to win the special election, she would be running in the general election as an incumbent member of Congress. Flores, a Los Indios respiratory care practitioner and Republican precinct chair, received 60% of the vote in a four-way primary and would presumably be the top, potentially the only, Republican in the race. Expect this seat to become a priority for national Republicans ahead of the 2022 mid-term elections.

At present, we rate the seat as Likely D in the general election. For this special election, we rate it as Lean R.

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