Gallego Backs Out Of Bid To Retake Congressional Seat

ALPINE, TX (Ben Caxton) The last Democrat to hold Texas’ 23rd Congressional District Seat and Alpine native Pete Gallego, has dropped out of next year’s election contest. Gallego won the district in 2012, when Barack Obama won re-election and turnout was up but lost to Republican Will Hurd in the off-year election in 2014, and again in 2016. The former congressman has spent much of this year making the rounds of his former district that includes 800 miles of border territory and stretches from South San Antonio to El Paso. As recently as three weeks ago, Gallego sounded very much like a candidate, sending out a fundraising email that castigated congressional Republicans and asked supporters to “chip in so we can raise another $7,500 this week.” A recent ruling by a three-judge federal panel that invalidated the maps of two other congressional districts but left District 23 unscathed seems to have set the stage for next year’s election. Gallejo lost primarily because the district includes North San Antonio where current congressman Will Hurd has strong support. In addition, the challengers that will face off on the Democrat side now include Jay Hulings, a former congressional staffer and law school classmate of Joaquin and Julián Castro, who is from North San Antonio and would have stayed out of the race had it been removed from the district by the court. Other Democrat challengers for the right to face Hurd in November include Rick Treviño a Bernie Sanders delegate to last year’s Democratic National Convention, and San Antonian teacher, and Gina Ortiz Jones, a graduate of John Jay High School and former Air Force intelligence officer, also from San Antonio. Gallejo for his part says he’s not done yet, saying while he’ll not be seeking the congressional seat, he will be looking for other opportunities to serve Texas.

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