Voters in eastern Bexar County are headed to the polls today to fill the unexpired term of former Rep. Joe Farias (D-San Antonio). Turnout is expected to be light. Just 1,426 people voted early in person during the three-day early voting period. Polls close at 7 p.m. CST.
The runoff pits Republican John Lujan, the retired firefighter who came in first during the special election with 28%, against Harlandale ISD Trustee Tomas Uresti. Though the district leans Democratic in general elections, recent special elections in Bexar Co. have been strongly influenced by Republican voters. In this special election, a trio of Republican candidates garnered 46% of the vote. Sensing an opportunity for a pick-up, Republicans have been motivated to support Lujan, giving his upstart campaign an energy not seen among the Democrats.
Uresti was sidelined for several days – including the early voting period – with an injury that required surgery. As far as we can tell, he has not yet filed a runoff campaign finance report that was due January 19. Further, his chief Democratic rival from the special election, Gabe Farias, son of the retiring representative, has filed against Uresti in the primary, preventing the Democratic base from uniting behind the lone Democratic candidate in the runoff. Uresti (22%) finished three points ahead of Farias (19%) in the special election. Conditions are ripe for a Republican pick-up, at least for now.
We’ll begin our live election coverage tonight a little after 7 p.m.