Gov. Greg Abbott sets date on special runoff election for Texas House seat vacated by Leo Pacheco

Runoff election between John Lujan, Frank Ramirez slated for Nov. 2

Republican John Lujan (left) and Democrat Frank Ramirez (right), will face off in a runoff Special Election for Texas House District 118. The winner will replace Leo Pacheco. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Voters will decide on a new representative for Texas House District 118 in a special runoff election set for Nov. 2.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the date for the election in proclamation issued on Monday. Early voting will begin on Monday, Oct. 18.

After no clear winner was established on Sept. 28, a Republican who once held the seat and a Democrat will go head-to-head in a runoff to fill the seat of former state Rep. Leo Pacheco of San Antonio.

With 100% of the vote counted, Republican John Lujan received 2,938 or 41% of the vote. Coming in second was Democrat Frank Ramirez, who captured 1,416 or 20% of the vote.

This would not be the first time that Lujan has won a special election.

He was victorious in a January 2016 special election to represent the district, but in the November 2016 general election, he was defeated by Democrat Tomas Uresti. Lujan ran again in the general election held in November 2018 but was soundly defeated by Pacheco.

Pacheco, a Democrat, gave up his seat in the Texas Legislature last month to take a job at San Antonio College.

The district has traditionally been friendly territory for Democrats, though Republicans have set their sights on it as they try to make South Texas a new battleground in 2022. Special elections often have lower turnout, making the outcome harder to forecast and often being advantageous for underdogs.

The district

District 118 covers the southern and eastern parts of Bexar County and is home to 165,000 people, according to the Texas House website. About 75% of the residents are Hispanic. Ten thousand residents are veterans.

Pacheco has endorsed Ramirez to fill the seat, as have Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, San Antonio City Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia and San Antonio City Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez, according to KSAT partner Texas Tribune.

Find more coverage of the 2021 election here.


About the Authors:

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.