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Huge Upset for GOP in Texas: State Senate Seat Flips Red for First Time in 139 Years

Republican Pete Flores, center, stands with his daughter Vicky, left, and state Sen. Donna Campbell, right.

In a major upset Tuesday night, voters elected a conservative political newcomer to the Texas Senate, flipping a Democratic district red for the first time in 139 years.

Retired game warden Pete Flores defeated former state and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego in the runoff election for the Senate District 19 seat in San Antonio, further increasing the Republicans’ supermajority in the chamber ahead of the November elections. Flores will replace Democrat state Sen. Carlos Uresti, who was forced to step down in June after being sentenced to 12 years in prison on federal fraud and money laundering charges.

This seat wasn't supposed to be competitive. It went 54-42 for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and 55-44 for Barack Obama in 2012. 

Flores reportedly received "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," according to MySA.com. He was also likely a beneficiary of a superior ground game, as the GOP has outraised Democrats and radically upped their ground game in recent years.