Tomorrow (Tuesday) is Election Day for the emergency special election to fill the unexpired term of former Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio). Eight candidates are vying for the two-plus years left in his term.
We will have live results and analysis beginning at 7 p.m. CDT tomorrow (Tuesday) at txelects.com/live. Our initial analysis of the race can be found here. Since that time, Republican leaders have rallied around Pete Flores, the party’s 2016 general election nominee. That, combined with exceedingly low turnout reported across the district, increases the odds he will make a runoff against either Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) or former Rep. and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine).
Bexar Co., home of Gutierrez, represents barely half of all votes cast early in the 17-county district, according to data collected by the San Antonio Express-News’s Jasper Scherer. In the 2016 general election, Bexar Co. voters cast 62% of all ballots in the district. Bexar Co. has seen a number of recent special elections with very low turnout, including one that sent an independent candidate to the House for the first time since 1932.
Meanwhile, Medina Co. represents around 10% of the early vote, up from 7% of the total vote in 2016. In that election, Republican Pete Flores received 68% of the vote there. Uvalde Co. is also running slightly above its 2016 share of the vote. Flores narrowly carried Uvalde Co. in 2016.
Brewster Co., home of Gallego, is also a larger-than-usual component of the electorate. The far West Texas county represents about 6% of early votes for the special election, up from less than 2% during the last general election. To put it in perspective, early voters equal nearly a quarter of the 2016 total votes cast in Brewster Co. but only 6% of the total votes cast in Bexar Co. in this district.
Turnout across the district may not break 30K, based on the fact that fewer than 17K have cast ballots early. Since 1997, eleven special elections for Senate seats have not coincided with an even-year November general election. Fewer than 30K voted in three of those races, including one seat entirely within Bexar Co.:
- 16,369 – SD6 (January 2013)
- 19,019 – SD26 (January 2015), a Bexar Co. district
- 29,851 – SD22 (May 2010)
- 30,348 – SD4 (May 2014)
- 35,731 – SD30 (November 2001)
- 38,307 – SD5 (January 1997)
- 39,352 – SD18 (December 2014)
- 42,816 – SD28 (September 2014)
- 59,327 – SD26 (November 1999), a Bexar Co. district
- 69,206 – SD1 (January 2004)
- 69,415 – SD31 (January 2004)
Thanks to the unusual timing of two elections, voters in Bexar Co. precincts 1041 and 1045 can also cast ballots early in the South San ISD tax ratification election. Early voting begins tomorrow (Tuesday).
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