Tuesday night, Republican John Lujan won a special election runoff to the Texas House of Representatives (District 118), in a political upset that may change the narrative on Latinos voting Republican.
The special election was held because the current officeholder, Democrat Joe Farias, announced his resignation last year. Lujan defeated Democrat Tomas Uresti 52% to 48%, in a district (covering south and east San Antonio) whose electorate is heavily Latino and Democrat. Lujan was not expected to mount a serious challenge in what was considered a “safe” Democrat district, but his grassroots efforts to win over voters paid off.
Texas GOP Chairman Tom Mechler celebrated Lujan’s win in a statement released Tuesday evening. “We are proud and excited to hear that John Lujan won the runoff election in Texas House District 118. Our field and engagement staff worked with John Lujan’s campaign to ramp up our outreach efforts in a predominantly Hispanic area of San Antonio. We are confident that our message is resonating with voters in a critical election year. While the fight is far from over, John Lujan’s win tonight represents a great sign of what’s to come this election season.”
Lujan is a retired firefighter and founded a highly successful IT business. He has long been active in the San Antonio community. His election is a “shot across the bow” to Democrats who think Latinos will always vote Democrat.