Democrat Vicente Gonzalez will defeat Republican Tim Westley in Texas’s 15th District, The Associated Press projects.
Gonzalez led Westley 58 percent to 38 percent with 42 percent of precincts reporting.
He succeeds retiring Democratic Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, who has represented the district for nine terms. The open seat was expected to remain in Democratic hands.
Texas’s 15th District begins northeast of San Antonio and expands south all the way to the Mexican border.
Coming into Election Day, the race was rated Safe Democrat by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call. In 2014, Hinojosa defeated Republican Eddie Zamora by nearly a dozen points.
Gonzalez is a political newcomer who invested nearly $2 million of his own money to finish first in the Democratic primary with 42 percent against five candidates and win the runoff with 66 percent.
The high school dropout turned attorney has his own practice, the Law Offices of V. Gonzalez and Associates, where he won a case for South Texas school districts that were suing contractors for misspent bond money.
While Gonzalez is in line with his party on most policies, he adheres more to his home state’s philosophy on gun policy as a Second Amendment advocate. Gonzalez collects guns and has indicated that he would be willing to break with Democrats to protect the constitutional right to bear arms.