Former U.S. Health & Human Services Dept. official Brian Harrison turned away former Rep. John Wray’s (R-Waxahachie) comeback bid, while former Rep. John Lujan’s (R-San Antonio) comeback followed a familiar path.
Harrison defeated Wray, 55%-45%, to win the unexpired state House term of U.S. Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie). Harrison held a narrow 221-vote lead after early voting, then pulled away by taking 59% of the Election Day vote in Ellis Co. and 71% of it in Henderson Co. Turnout was 9.2% of registered voters.
In HD118, Lujan coasted to a first-place finish with 42% of the vote, leaving all the drama for the Democrats jockeying for the second runoff spot. Frank Ramirez edged out Desi Martinez, 20%-18%, a margin of 172 votes. Ramirez overcame an 11-vote deficit in early voting, outpacing Martinez, 20%-14%, among Election Day voters. Democrat Katie Farias finished fourth with 12% and Republican Adam Salyer came in last with 9% of the vote. Turnout was 6.8% of registered voters.
Lujan received 47% of the Election Day vote after receiving 37% of the early vote. The two Republicans combined for 57% of the Election Day vote.
The partisan split of the overall vote was 50.3% Republican, 49.7% Democrat. The November 2015 special election, in which Lujan placed first with 29% of the vote, also had a nearly even partisan split. Lujan went on to defeat Tomas Uresti, 52%-48%, in the runoff to flip the seat.
History seems poised to repeat itself.
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