By Public Radio Staff
Republican Tony Gonzales, who served as a cryptologist in the Navy and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, edged out his Democratic opponent Gina Ortiz Jones in the race for the heavily sought-after 23rd Congressional District of Texas.
Jones, who served as an Air Force intelligence officer and was deployed to Iraq, was taking another shot at flipping the district after having narrowly lost in 2018.
I’m grateful for the team we put together,” Gonzales told a crowd of supporters overnight. “We put together a winning team.”
As of Wednesday morning, Gonzales had received over 147,000 votes, or 50.66%, compared to Jones’ 46.51%.
“This district wants a Congressman who will show up, listen to them, and fight for them,” Gonzales said in a prepared statement. “That is what we offered.”
Congressional District 23—which covers 29 counties and stretches from El Paso out toward San Antonio and runs through the Big Bend region—has a history of close races. In 2018, incumbent Will Hurd edged out Jones by about half a percentage point, or less than 1,000 votes.
Prior to that, the district had flipped multiple times between Republicans and Democrats since the 1990s. Hurd, who announced his retirement last year, was the the first recent candidate to hold onto the House seat for three consecutive terms.
Overnight, the Ortiz Jones campaign remained hopeful in the competitive race, saying it was “far from over.” But by morning, the Democratic candidate conceded. “While we came up short, I will always remain dedicated to serving our country and my community in any way I can.”