Michael Cloud (R), a Victoria marketing businessman and former Victoria Co. Republican Party chair, won a nine-way special election outright with 55% of the vote. He will fill the unexpired term of former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi), who resigned in April. Cloud’s nearest rival was Eric Holguin (D), a Corpus Christi former congressional aide and staffer for the New York City comptroller, who received 32% of the vote.
Cloud, Holguin and Libertarian candidate Daniel Tinus (<1%) will meet again in the general election.
Cloud carried each of the district’s 13 counties, winning an outright majority in all but two of them. He received at least 60% of the vote in eight counties. He was aided by a former rival, former Texas Water Development Board chair Bech Bruun, whom Cloud defeated in the primary runoff election. Bruun, who remained on the special election ballot, endorsed Cloud and called for Republican unity. Bruun received 4% of the vote in the special election, and another Republican, Corpus Christi physician Marty Perez, received less than 1% of the vote despite spending around $125K of his own money. Among the Republican candidates, Cloud received more than 91% of the vote.
“Congratulations to CONGRESSMAN Michael Cloud on winning the special election,” tweeted Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who decided to hold the emergency special election now instead of in November. “CD27 now has representation to help respond” to the region’s ongoing recovery from Hurricane Harvey.
The three Democratic candidates combined were held to less than 35% in nine counties. About two thirds of Holguin’s votes came from Nueces Co., where he came closest to besting Cloud. Just 217 votes separated them there out of more than 18K cast. In that county, Holguin outperformed Cloud among ballot-by-mail (44%-25%) and Election Day (47%-43%) voters. Cloud won a majority of the county’s in-person early voters (51%-38%). Overall, the three Democratic candidates on the ballot received just over 50% collectively in the county.
Cloud was otherwise held under 50% in just Bastrop Co., which represented about 4% of the district’s total votes.
Tinus and the two independent candidates collectively received 1% of the vote. Chris Suprun, best known as the rogue elector who refused to cast his ballot for President Trump, received a total of 51 votes.
Cloud is heavily favored to win a full term in November. In 2014, there were nearly 15K more straight-party Republican votes than straight-party Democratic votes cast across the district.
©2018 Texas Election Source LLC