“Republicans, once hopeful they had found a strong replacement for Rep. Will Hurd, have all but written off this district.” – National Journal
This Saturday will mark one year since Congressman Will Hurd’s shock retirement left Texas Republicans deflated and rudderless heading into 2020. It will also mark 365 days of Gina Ortiz Jones running for Congress in Texas’ 23rd Congressional District virtually unopposed.
Today, more than three months since Gina Ortiz Jones sailed through her primary, Republicans Tony Gonzales and Raul Reyes are still locked in an “expensive,” “ugly,” and protracted runoff that was hijacked by a “Cruz-Trump proxy war” at the 11th hour. And unfortunately for all players involved, this “comical” primary is still “far from over” as Gonzales and Reyes careen toward a likely recount.
As of today, NRCC-favored Tony Gonzales allegedly leads by a whopping 46 votes over his vastly underfunded opponent Raul Reyes, after the outgoing Bexar County GOP chair led an insurrection and delayed the vote count. With the Allen West-led Texas GOP yet to complete their canvass and Raul Reyes actively raising funds ahead of a recount, there’s no end in sight to the GOP’s utter disaster in TX-23.
Here’s the latest:
National Journal: “Despite raising twice as much money as Air Force veteran Raul Reyes and garnering the support of President Trump, Navy veteran Tony Gonzales is leading by fewer than 100 votes, a showing that has not inspired much confidence in the general election. Republicans, once hopeful they had found a strong replacement for Rep. Will Hurd, have all but written off this district.”
Slate: “The Republican primary runoff for the nomination in Texas’ 23rd District—a vast border district stretching from San Antonio to El Paso—served as a proxy fight between the Trump and Cruz camps.”
Rivard Report: “The closeness of the race reveals that neither of them have the support necessary to beat Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones…the race between Gonzales and Reyes has been not only close, but also comical.”
San Antonio Express-News: “Once this grueling nomination is done all the winner has to do, whether it’s Reyes or Gonzales, is beat Gina Ortiz Jones in the fall, which is going to be quite a trick…She’s got to be considered the frontrunner at this point. She’s got the most experience campaigning in the district, she’s proven herself to be a really effective fundraiser…So whoever gets it, they’re not going to have an easy time.”
San Antonio Express-News: “The outcome of the Republican runoff may be moot, some political observers say. Whoever wins will face Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones, a San Antonio native and former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, who has far more money and name recognition than either Republican candidate.”
Washington Post: “Democrat and Iraq War veteran Gina Ortiz Jones came close to beating Hurd last year. Now she’ll face a lesser-known, to-be-determined Republican…Jones has $3 million to spend while both her opponents are comparatively broke.”