Progressive candidate Michelle Vallejo declared victory in the Democratic primary runoff election for Texas’ 15th congressional district on Wednesday, while her opponent, Ruben Ramirez, is still waiting for all votes to be canvassed.
Eight days after the primary runoff elections, the Vallejo campaign issued a statement declaring victory in the race against Ramirez, the moderate Democratic candidate.
“I am so proud of all that we have accomplished and with final results coming in, I am honored to be the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 15th Congressional District,” the statement read in part.
The Ramirez campaign, however, continues to believe the race is too close to call.
“In a race this tight, it is essential that every voter has their say before a final call is made. We look forward to knowing the true result once all the ballots are counted and canvassed,” the Ramirez campaign said. “At the end of the day, we fully expect to see a positive outcome. South Texas politics has a long tradition of upset victories, this will just be the latest but not even the most surprising.”
Unofficial results posted immediately after the May 24 runoff had Vallejo leading in the race with just 23 votes throughout the entire district which comprises of portions of seven counties including Hidalgo County.
As of Wednesday afternoon, results from Hidalgo County had Vallejo with 4,728 votes and Ramirez with 4,638 votes, a 90 vote difference.
On election night, Hidalgo County votes had the candidates separated by 89 votes — Vallejo with 4,707 votes and Ramirez with 4,618 votes at the time.
The final vote count is still pending updates from the other six counties within District 15, which must be reported to the state no later than Thursday.
Whoever is declared the Democratic nominee will move on to the general election where he or she will face Republican nominee Monica De La Cruz for the congressional seat in November.
LUPE Votes, the political arm of La Union Del Pueblo Entero that also hand-picked Vallejo to run on a progressive platform, issued a statement congratulating Vallejo.
“The pueblo of South Texas has spoken: we are ready for bold, progressive leadership,” Juanita Valdez-Cox, the executive director said in the statement. “LUPE Votes is proud to have been the first organization to endorse Michelle’s campaign, and we are ready to keep up the fight through November.”
Valdez-Cox also spoke about the organization’s history with grassroot efforts.
“Since the start of the farm worker movement, our people have organized and won to elect leaders that listen to the demands of working class voters,” Valdez-Cox continued. “Michelle’s historic bid for Congress is proof that our legacy is as strong as ever, and it sends a clear warning sign to politicians who doubt the power of our membership.”