Democrat Wins Battleground Texas State Senate Seat After Recount

A Democrat emerged victorious following a recount in a state Senate race in South Texas, where Republicans spent a great deal of money and energy hoping to flip seats in the 2022 midterm elections.

Republican candidate Adam Hinojosa, a businessman endorsed by former President Donald Trump, conceded defeat Friday to Democratic rival Morgan LaMantia, saying he fell just 0.19% short of victory in pursuit of the battleground seat.

“While we did not get the result we were hoping for in the Senate race and subsequent recount, I remain committed to advancing our shared values,” Hinojosa said in a statement.

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— Elect Adam Hinojosa (@ElectAHinojosa) December 16, 2022

Hinojosa requested the recount in three counties “in which there were large numbers of paper or mail-in ballots” after the results showed LaMantia leading by 659 votes out of 175,415 total in Senate District 27, which covers parts of South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. Although both candidates picked up new votes, including 128 between them in Cameron County, Hinojosa failed to gain enough to take the lead, according to The Texas Tribune.

LaMantia declared victory on Wednesday. “I am pleased to confirm what we already knew: we won the race for Senate District 27,” she said in a statement on the recount results.

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— Morgan LaMantia (@lamantia4texas) December 14, 2022

Hinojosa, who prioritized issues such as border security, the economy, and education, had endorsements from top Republicans in the state, including Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. He also had the backing of Trump, who at a rally in South Texas in late October said Hinojosa had his “complete and total endorsement.”

Republicans added small gains to their majorities in both chambers of the state legislature this election cycle, but Hinojosa’s defeat adds to the mixed bag of results for Republicans in South Texas, where they hoped to make gains in an area where Democrats have a beachhead in the red state.

Despite spending millions of dollars in a South Texas effort, the GOP had only one of its candidates win among three key U.S. House races — Monica De La Cruz, the first Hispanic woman elected to represent Texas’ 15th Congressional District. Down ticket, Republicans also managed to flip a state House seat with the victory of Janie Lopez in District 37, which did not have an incumbent and was redrawn to be a toss-up, according to the Texas Observer.

Our campaign is committed to standing up for all South Texas families. #LaMantiaForSouthTexas pic.twitter.com/2Qr5jUAaGV

— Morgan LaMantia (@lamantia4texas) July 25, 2022

LaMantia ran a campaign focused on healthcare, education, small businesses, and an overhaul of Texas’ failure-prone energy grid. She will take over the state Senate seat held by Eddie Lucio Jr., a conservative Democrat who sometimes broke ranks with his party on issues such as abortion and gay rights, per the Texas Tribune. The news outlet noted the district became more competitive after last year’s redistricting process.

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