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Iraq War Veteran Loses Bid to Become First Queer Texan Elected to Congress

UPDATE (11/7/2018): Although pundits called the race for Republican Will Hurd last night, the race may not be over.

As the conservative’s lead has narrowed to just over 1,000 votes, Democratic challenger Gina Ortiz Jones has declined to concede victory. In a statement, her campaign referred to the Texas’ 23rd Congressional District election as “too close to call.”

“This election is not over—every vote matters and must be counted,” said spokeswoman Noelle Rosselini. “Gina’s campaign has been powered by grassroots energy from day one, and we won’t stop working until every provisional ballot, absentee ballot, and military or overseas ballot has been counted.”

If Ortiz Jones pulls out a victory, it would be a major upset.

UPDATE (11/6/2018):

Gina Ortiz Jones lost an unexpectedly close race for the U.S. House on Tuesday. With 58 percent of precincts reporting in Texas, the Iraq War veteran trailed Republican incumbent Will Hurd in Texas’ 23rd Congressional District by just 3.3 points. Hurd claimed 50.7 percent of the vote, as opposed to 47.4 percent for Ortiz Jones.

That result is undoubtedly disappointing. If she won on Nov. 6, Ortiz Jones would have been the first queer Latina elected to U.S. Congress.

But given where she started, it’s an extremely good finish for the 37-year-old candidate. In the days leading up to the race, polling from the New York Times and Siena College showed her trailing Hurd by 15 points.

Thus, Ortiz Jones overperformed by nearly 12 points.

Although she did not make history, America still elected a queer woman of color to the House of Representatives in the midterms. Sharice Davids, a lesbian and member of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk Nation, won by more than nine points in the race for Kansas’ 3rd congressional district in the U.S. House.

Image via Getty


Nico Lang

Nico Lang is a staff writer for INTO, covering news, politics, and global LGBTQ issues.

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