Republican incumbent Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco, R-San Antonio, was defeated by challenger state Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, for the 23rd congressional district, according to projections by the Texas Tribune. The district encompasses much of far West Texas, from San Antonio to El Paso along the border. With 82 percent of precincts reporting, Gallego has fifty percent of the vote to Canseco's 46 percent.
The race was among just a handful of competitive races for congressional seats in Texas this fall, along with Republican Randy Weber’s race against Democrat Pete Lampson for the 10th congressional district.
Canseco was a Tea Party candidate who won office two years ago, but lost re-election to Gallego, who has served in the state legislature for 22 years.
Some $10 million was put into the race, with $6.5 million from outside political groups, according to the Texas Tribune.
Canseco made waves earlier this month when his campaign sent out mailers accusing Gallego of saying “no to God,” promoting abortions for young women, and pushing for “marriage to be between man and man.” The mailer featured a photo of two men kissing, and was condemned by three Republicans who had served in the state legislature with Canseco.
“In some ways, the closely fought race offers a glimpse of the state’s future: Hispanics make up almost 40 percent of Texas’ population, and they are expected to outnumber whites before the next census in 2020. Both parties are trying to win their loyalties in Texas, and this year CD-23 is ground zero — awash with outside money and national party anxiety,” Jay Root wrote in the Texas Tribune in late October.