Former Sen. Carlos Uresti’s (D-San Antonio) resignation following his conviction on felony corruption charges triggered a special election to fill his unexpired term. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) decided the district should not wait until November to have “effective representation” and ordered an emergency special election for July 31, just six weeks after he signed the proclamation.

At the time Abbott ordered the election, we speculated that its timing gave a Republican candidate a shot at making the runoff and, potentially, picking up the seat. We projected that candidate to be Pleasanton retired game warden Pete Flores, who received 40% of the vote in the 2016 general election for the seat. Flores is indeed a candidate in the special election, but two other Republicans filed, likely splitting the vote in a way that keeps them all out of a runoff. Flores has not received a campaign contribution in over a year, and the other two Republican candidates reported no contributions in their most recent reports.

Rep. Roland Gutierrez

Rep. Roland

Pete Gallego


Thus, the eight-person race has essentially already boiled down to just two: former Rep. and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) and Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio). Together, they account for practically 100% of all contributions received by, expenditures made by and cash on hand for all the candidates during the election cycle. Two other Democrats filed, including Rep. Tomás Uresti (D-San Antonio), the brother of the former incumbent who lost his own re-election bid in March. The final candidate is Libertarian Tony Valdivia, who ran for president as a write-in in 2016 and received 11% of the vote in a 2017 San Antonio council race.

Gutierrez holds key campaign finance advantages over Gallego, but Gallego has demonstrated the ability to match Gutierrez’s fundraising ability, at least during the reporting period covered by the candidates’ 30-day-out reports. Gutierrez narrowly out-raised Gallego, $184K to $173K, for the period, which began on January 1 for Gutierrez and March 27 for Gallego. Since March 27, Gallego has out-raised Gutierrez, $173K to $114K. Gutierrez raised $228K prior to that date, of which $158K occurred in prior reporting periods.

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