In yet another victory for the LGBT community, State Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, knocked off tea party freshman Congressman Francisco “Quico” Canseco in the race for Congressional District 23 seat in West Texas.
District 23 is Texas’ only swing congressional district.
The Associated Press called the hotly contested race in favor of Gallego, the Democratic challenger, just before midnight, but apparently Canseco, the Republican incumbent, had yet to concede.
Last month, Canseco sent out a false, anti-gay campaign mailer attacking Gallego for allegedly saying “no to God,” supporting “abortions for underage girls” and wanting “marriage to be between man & man.” Canseco received the lowest possible score of zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard.
The charges in the mailer were largely false. For example, Gallego voted against Texas’ 2005 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, but says he did so only because it also outlawed civil unions.
In other Texas congressional races of note, Democratic state Rep. Marc Veasey — an LGBT ally also voted against the marriage amendment as a member of the Texas House — easily won the newly created District 33 seat, defeating Republican Chuck Bradley.
In Dallas, Democratic Congressman Eddie Bernice Johnson captured 79 percent of the vote as she cruised to re-election in District 30.
Overall, Republicans were projected to retain control of the U.S. House, but it was unclear whether they would lose or gain seats, according to CNN.
On the Senate side, anti-gay Republican Ted Cruz easily defeated Democrat Paul Sadler for seat held by retiring Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, but Democrats expanded their majority in the Senate overall.