88th LegislatureElections 2022IssuesResults Suggest Democrat Morgan LaMantia, Republican Janie Lopez Victorious in South Texas by Thin Margins

Rep. Alex Dominguez unsuccessfully ran in the Texas Senate district being vacated by fellow Brownsville Democrat Sen. Eddie Lucio.
November 10, 2022
There were mixed results in South Texas legislative races as the GOP apparently failed to pick up the state Senate seat being vacated by outgoing Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville), but flipped the competitive Texas House seat based in Willacy and Cameron counties.

Democrat Morgan LaMantia was poised to defeat Republican Adam Hinojosa for Texas Senate District (SD) 27 after she received only 569 votes more than her opponent in a race where there were more than 175,000 ballots cast, per the Texas Secretary of State (SOS).

“Thank you to everyone who voted, everyone who let their voices be heard,” LaMantia told supporters in a victory speech on election night.

The race is well within the margin for a possible recount, though the SOS indicated that all precincts had reported their results.

On Wednesday evening, Hinojosa posted on social media that his team was still watching and waiting.

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“My family and I would like to thank every single person who has supported our campaign — every voter, volunteer, and donor who put your time and money into action on behalf of the values we as South Texans share,” Hinojosa tweeted.

“This seat has been held by Democrats for well over a century, since Reconstruction, and the current results show we are down by only .3%! As final provisional and military votes continue to come in, we will be monitoring the count. Stay tuned for updates!”

Military mail-in ballots can be received through next Monday, per the SOS.

Meanwhile, Republican Janie Lopez defeated Democrat Luis Villarreal Jr. in House District (HD) 37 with 52 percent of the vote compared to her opponent’s 48 percent.

Lopez celebrated her victory in a post on social media.

“Thank you! We did it! You have blessed me with your trust. I’ll work my hardest for you to do right by you!” she wrote.

SD 27 includes Willacy and Cameron counties as well, but also encompasses parts of Hidalgo County and extends as far north as Nueces County.

The incumbent for HD 37, Rep. Alex Dominguez (D-Brownsville), forewent a reelection bid to run for SD 27. Dominguez failed to advance to the runoff in which LaMantia defeated Sara Stapleton-Berrera.

Remarkably, Lucio endorsed LaMantia over Hinojosa despite the fact that LaMantia and Lucio have contrasting views on abortion. Lucio, who is pro-life, also endorsed Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who ran on his record of passing laws restriction abortion. Patrick soundly defeated Democrat Mike Collier for a second time in the general election.

As of the time of publication, neither Hinojosa nor Villarreal had posted concession statements on their social media pages. Their campaigns did not immediately reply to The Texan’s messages.

Villareal told The Texan on Thursday afternoon that he called Lopez to concede and would not seek a recount.

“We had limited resources, we used them the best we could, and it was an amazing experience,” he said.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated with a statement from Villareal.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."