Mary Gonzalez

In what is arguably the biggest race of the night for the LGBT community in Texas, openly gay candidate Mary Gonzalez captured 53 percent of the early vote in El Paso’s House District 75, putting her well ahead of Hector Enriquez, who was in second with 36 percent.

Gonzalez can avoid a runoff and capture the seat if she stays above 50 percent after Election Day results come in later tonight, as there are no Republicans in the race. (El Paso is an hour behind Dallas.)

Tony San Roman was in third with 12 percent. Gonzalez is ahead of Enriquez by only about 500 votes, so it’s too early to say whether she’ll avoid a runoff.

Gonzalez would be the first openly gay state legislator in Texas since Glen Maxey, who left office in 2001.

Texas is one of only 18 states that lack an out legislator, which advocates say is key to passing pro-equality legislation.