August 5, 2020 616 PM
TX-23 — The primary race between Tony Gonzales and Raul Reyes for the Republican slot in the 23rd Congressional District has been bitter, from harsh words to competing high profile endorsement. As the dust settles on the July 14 primary elections and counties have certified their vote counts and sent them to the state GOP, it is Gonzales who eked out a narrow win, 45 votes ahead of Reyes, according to the office of the Secretary of State.
“Tony Gonzales won the Republican primary runoff, which was shown at every stage: on election night, after all absentee and provisional ballots were counted, after all 29 counties completed their canvass and tonight as the Texas GOP certified the results,” Gonzales campaign spokesman Matt Mackowiak said after the final ballot count came out.
Last year, Gonzales filed to run in the blue district of TX-35, spanning from Austin to San Antonio, against incumbent Democrat Lloyd Doggett. Then he withdrew, refiling in the crowded Republican field of TX-23. After 20 years in the Navy, his campaign for political office – notably endorsed by President Donald Trump – has advanced to the next stage, facing Gina Ortiz Jones in the general election this November.
That is, unless his Republican opponent Reyes comes out on top in a recount. The trailing challenger announced Friday he would submit a petition for a recount, along with a $35,000 recount deposit, before the Monday evening deadline.
“We worked too hard, for too long, not to ensure every legal vote was counted properly,” said Reyes. “This is a large district, with 29 separate elections run by 29 distinct counties, many of which use paper ballots where human error often enters into the vote counting process. We want to ensure all ballots were counted properly through an expeditious recount process as allowed under law.”
The recount must begin seven days after the petition is approved. Reyes, who was endorsed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, said, “We received hundreds upon hundreds of individual small donations to meet the needed $35,000 deposit for a recount. I owe it to our many volunteers, and the voters of this district, to ensure the final result represents the will of the Republican Primary electorate.”
Gonzales campaign spokesman Mackowiak saw the recount differently, saying, “We are confident that Tony will win again after Raul’s hopeless and selfish recount is completed. Raul’s decision to delay the result only helps Gina Jones, which may be his primary motivation. We will remain focused on unifying the party and building a winning campaign for the general election.”