Republicans Hold On to Farenthold Seat in Texas Special Election

Michael Cloud avoids 27th District runoff by comfortably clearing 50 percent of the vote

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, resigned in April amid a sexual harassment scandal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Michael Cloud won the special election Saturday to replace former Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold, comfortably taking a majority of votes to avoid a runoff. 

Nine candidates from multiple parties competed for the 27th District on the same ballot Saturday. With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Cloud, the former chairman of the Victoria County GOP, led the field with 54 percent, when The Associated Press called the race. Democrat Eric Holguin, a former congressional aide, was in second place with 32 percent. 

Farenthold resigned his seat in April, amid a House Ethics investigation following revelations that he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment case. Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott called the special election earlier than state law stipulates because the Gulf Coast-area district was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, and Abbott said it needed representation in Congress.

Cloud had the endorsement of the conservative Club for Growth PAC as well as the campaign arm of the House Freedom Caucus. 

He and Holguin will face off again in November, since they are their party’s respective nominees in the general election. But in the meantime, Cloud will head to Congress to serve out the last few months of Farenthold’s term.

He is expected to be in a strong position to win again in November. President Donald Trump carried the district by 24 points in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the general election Solid Republican.

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