Scott Ball / Rivard Report
Gina Ortiz Jones conceded the 23rd Congressional District race to U.S. Rep. Will Hurd on Monday morning following a tight battle in the swing district.
Jones, the Democratic challenger of incumbent Hurd, had held off from conceding despite election-night results that had her trailing in the race. Her spokeswoman, Noelle Rosellini, said on Nov. 6 that the Jones campaign wanted to wait until every vote was counted, including absentee, mail-in, and provisional ballots.
But Jones did not pick up enough votes to close the gap on Hurd, who represents a sprawling district that stretches from Bexar County to El Paso County. The Helotes Republican held onto his seat to secure a third term, the longest stint since Republican Henry Bonilla represented the district from 1993-2007.
“I want to thank my opponent and her supporters for engaging in the democratic process," Hurd said in a statement. "To thrive, our democracy needs a vigorous competition of ideas, and whether you voted for me or not, I will need your help.
"I also want to thank my family, friends and staff for all their help and support. To the residents of TX-23, thank you for giving me something that hasn’t happened in over a decade, the privilege of representing you for a third term. I will continue fighting for you every day in Congress.”
Jones tweeted out her concession Monday after a canvass of election results in Medina County, saying she was proud of the campaign that she had run.
“Our campaign was based on the belief that everyone is equal – equally deserving to be heard at the ballot box and served in our communities,” she said in a statement. “We worked hard to make this a reality, understanding this is the only path toward the more perfect union that our founders envisioned.”
Hurd had claimed victory on election night, but Jones edged into the lead in the wee hours of Nov. 7, with all precincts reporting. An hour later, updated vote totals showed Hurd beating Jones by 689 votes. Secretary of State officials learned in the early morning hours that Medina County election officials had incorrectly entered election day results, spokesperson Sam Taylor said.
Hurd said last Monday that he felt good about the outcome of the race, as military votes still had to be received. He had a lead of 1,150 votes last week out of roughly 209,000 cast, while provisional ballots were being counted.
“I feel good that once all the votes are counted, I’m going to continue to have this lead,” he told reporters Monday at the opening of the Bexar County Military Transition Center.
Jones went to court last week in an attempt to get a list of provisional voters in Bexar County in hopes of contacting voters whose ballots might be eligible to be counted, but State District Judge Stephani Walsh ruled that elections officials did not have to immediately turn over lists of precinct-by-precinct provisional voters.
Jones also attended the orientation for freshman members of Congress last week.
Final vote counts are due from all Texas counties Tuesday, Taylor said.