Elections 2020FederalRepublican Tony Gonzales Beats Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones to Replace Retiring Republican Will Hurd

With a surprisingly solid margin of victory, Republican Tony Gonzales has defeated Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones for the U.S. congressional seat.
November 4, 2020
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Republican Tony Gonzales has won the race for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District (TX-23), replacing Republican Rep. Will Hurd who opted not to seek reelection.

Gonzales beat out Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones for the seat.

The district spreads across a vast span, from the edge of El Paso County to the corners of San Antonio. Geographically, it is Texas’ largest congressional district.

With a reputation for middling, TX-23 commonly earned the title of Texas’ only true swing district during the 2018 midterms. The moderate Hurd beat Jones by a hairsbreadth in 2018, with his 926-vote lead in the final total counting for less than a percentage point.

Gonzales’ eager claim to victory late last night met with a response from Jones’ campaign around 10:30 p.m., noting the historically close races in the district and calling his celebration premature.

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Jones released her concession this morning.

“I want to thank each and every grassroots supporter, volunteer, and member of my staff who poured their heart into our campaign. I am so proud of the race we ran, and it is our shared commitment to fighting for working families in South and West Texas that continues to give me hope,” Jones said.

“While we came up short, I will always remain dedicated to serving our country and my community in any way I can. I hope TX-23 is represented with all of her constituents in mind, and in a way in which she deserves.”

Gonzales’ messaging centered his campaign around faith and adherence to the Constitution. Endorsed by President Trump, Gonzales put expanded child tax credits and school choice high on his list of legislative priorities.

The list of hard legislation that Jones publicly supported includes universal health care, expansion of broadband internet in rural areas, and addressing global climate change. On immigration, Jones echoed former senate candidate Beto O’Rourke’s strategy of focusing on ports of entry, protecting DACA, and opposing the border wall. She built her economic platform around spurring economic growth through state-funded measures like training programs and tax incentives.

Hurd leaves behind a record shy of controversy. Of the six bills he sponsored that saw the light of day in enactment, the most substantial two cut down on inefficiencies in Department of Homeland Security data collection and expanded law enforcement availability pay to employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations. Hurd recently joined San Antonio City Councilman Roberto Treviño in urging the move of the Alamo Cenotaph to make way for renovations at the site.

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Isaiah Mitchell

Isaiah Mitchell

Isaiah Mitchell is a reporter for The Texan, a Texas native, and a huge Allman Brothers fan. He graduated cum laude from Trinity University in 2020 with a degree in English. Isaiah loves playing music and football with his family.