Republican John Lujan wins special election and flips Democrat seat

by | Nov 3, 2021 | Policy, Texas Elections

Republican John Lujan will be replacing former state Rep. Leo Pacheco as the new lawmaker for San Antonio’s District 118 after a close special election runoff on Tuesday.

Lujan defeated his Democrat opponent Frank Ramirez by less than three percentage points, or less than 300 votes. 

In the final stretch of the race between Sept. 19 and Oct. 23, Lujan raised $336,451 in political contributions while Ramirez raised $209,691.

It’s the second time Lujan, a business owner and former firefighter, has flipped the district. He was elected in a similar special election in 2015 but was ousted by voters a year later in the 2016 general election. 

Democrats will have the opportunity to do the same in 2022, albeit under new district lines. Under the new maps, District 118 has a slight Republican partisan advantage but is still among the most competitive seats in Texas. 

In a statement responding to the results, Frank thanked his voters and said he looked forward to continuing the fight for the district.  

“We didn’t make it over the line tonight,” Frank said. “But we gave Texas Republicans a run for their money at every single step. I’m beyond proud of the massive Democratic mobilization our team achieved together — and I know San Antonio Democrats will continue to be at the heart of our Democratic fight for a better Texas. | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at

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