Increase in the number of votes Pete Flores received in Tuesday’s runoff election compared to the July 31 special election.

There have been 26 special runoff elections since 2000 for legislative and congressional seats. The winning candidates received more votes in those runoffs than in their respective special elections 20 times. Five times, they more than doubled their special election vote total. Only two other special runoff candidates have seen a larger percentage increase than Flores.

Pete Flores

Pete Flores

Ironically, both were in Hispanic/Latino-majority districts. In 2003, Juan Escobar (D-Kingsville) received 203% more votes than he received in his special election. In 2015, then-Rep. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) received 188% more votes in the runoff than he got in his special election in a Bexar Co. district.

Even more ironically, former Rep. and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) increased his vote total 176% from the special election, a higher percentage than Flores and the highest percentage for any runoff loser since at least 1992.

Flores more than doubled the number of votes he received in the special election in 15 of the 17 counties in the district. In five of those counties, he more than tripled his special election total. Gallego more than doubled his vote total in seven counties.

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