Republican Pete Flores won the Senate District 19 seat in Texas on Tuesday–a crushing defeat for former state and U.S. Rep. Democrat Pete Gallego.
Flores and Gallego went head-to-head in the special election to replace former State Senator Carlos Uresti who lost his seat after he was convicted of 11 felony charges.
This district has not seen a Republican hold the seat in 139 years.
Andrew Phelps McCormick was the last Republican to hold this seat and he left office in 1879, reported My San Antonio.
My San Antonio reported:
Voters elected political newcomer Pete Flores to the Texas Senate on Tuesday, flipping a Democratic district red for the first time in 139 years and further bolstering Republicans’ supermajority in the chamber ahead of the November elections.
A retired game warden, Flores defeated former state and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego for the Senate District 19 seat after receiving backing from some of the state’s most prominent politicians, including Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and U.S. Sens John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.
“We conservatives are conservative in the way we make approaches. The gun fight’s not over until the last shot’s fired,” Flores told the Express-News after Gallego conceded in a phone call just before 9 p.m. “The last shot’s been fired.”
Flores’ win marked an incredible upset in a district that political observers said shouldn’t have been competitive for Republicans. Low turnout in special elections and high-level GOP interests in preserving a Senate supermajority helped push Flores across the line, they said.
— Pete Flores (@PeteFlores_TX) September 19, 2018
Hillary Clinton won District 19 by over 12 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election!
Pete Flores celebrated with an election victory party Tuesday evening.
In other Texas election news, a Mexican citizen pleaded guilty to election fraud charges on Thursday in Montgomery County for voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election, among others.
Laura Janeth Garza, a 38-year-old Mexican national, was handed a 10-year jail sentence, a $10,000 fine and will be deported after serving her jail time, according to the attorney general’s office. She pleaded guilty to charges of voter impersonation and ineligible voting, both second-degree felonies.
Garza allegedly obtained documents to steal the identity of a U.S. citizen and illegally registered to vote in Harris County, according to a joint investigation by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the Texas Department of Public Safety. She used the alias Angie Yadira Zamora and cast ballots in 2004, 2012 and 2016.
“Election integrity is a top priority for my office, and arrests and convictions like this clearly demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that Texas elections remain free and fair,” Paxton said.
Election fraud has increasingly become a top issue among Republicans in Texas who have called attention to cases like Garza’s to prove their point that there is more voting fraud going on than many acknowledge. Last year, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a bill to increase penalties for absentee ballot fraud.
Meanwhile, an Illinois judge slammed the officials who failed to enforce a 2012 ICE detainer on an illegal alien who later was able to beat and rape three women — even though he “shouldn’t have been in this country.”
Miguel C. Luna, 37, a Mexican illegal alien who was living in Joliet, was given the maximum sentence of 80 years in prison on Monday after he admitted last May to the physical and sexual assaults of two women who were running on a state trail in separate incidents in 2015 and 2016. Luna also admitted to raping a third woman who has since died.
“You shouldn’t have been in this country,” Judge David Carlson said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The system let the victims down in this case.”
The judge said he did not understand why Luna had not been deported in 2012 when a fugitive warrant for his arrest was issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“You were free to do these acts…whether through misguided political correctness or people who do not believe in laws or borders,” Carlson said. “One thing I can do with the sentence is show that the laws we believe in here, maybe this won’t happen again, maybe that’s a little bit of closure.”
Luna was arrested for the rapes in May 2015. He faced 16 to 40 years on each of the two felony criminal assault counts. Carlos ordered him to serve the sentences consecutively, serve at least 85 percent of the sentences – 68 years – and register as a sex offender if he is ever released from prison.
During the trial against illegal alien Luna, prosecutors argued the early-morning attacks on the women were premeditated and grew more sophisticated. They showed a videotaped confession in which Luna admitted to wearing surgical gloves, concealing his face and using a shirt to wipe blood off a victim’s arm to remove his fingerprints.
“He did not want to be caught,” Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Fillipitch said in court. “If anything, he’d become a more clever and crafty sexual predator if given the opportunity to do so.”
Prior to his sentencing, Luna said that he was traumatized by repeated childhood sexual abuse by family members.
“I realize now I needed professional help,” he said, reading from a statement. “I never had the means and now it’s too late because I’m facing a life sentence.”
Luna went on to stay he was “very sorry” for his actions.
Carlson said the abuse Luna said he suffered as a child does not excuse his actions as an adult.
“Nothing gives you the right to impart that hurt, that pain, that damage to anyone else,” the judge said.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
September 19th, 2018