Gina Ortiz Jones Concedes to Republican in Texas House Race

After a hard fought campaign, and a close vote total, the openly LGBTQ candidate pledged to continue serving her community.

Gina Ortiz Jones has conceded to her Republican opponent, incumbent Rep. Will Hurd, who has now won a third-term in Texas’s 23rd District.

“While we came up short this time, we ran a race of which we can be proud,” Jones said in a statement. If elected, the Iraq War veteran, who served in the armed forces during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, would have been the first openly LGBTQ person elected to U.S. Congress from the state.

Jones was unable to turn the tide against Hurd, who consistently led by about 1,000 votes, out of 209,000 cast, The Texas Tribune reports.

The concession follows an attempt by the Jones camp to get Bexar County to turn over a list of citizens who voted with a provisional ballot, which are used when there is an issue concerning eligibility. The campaign also sought a 48-hour extension to the Tuesday deadline to resolve such issues. Both requests were denied.

That decision, plus the completion of canvassing of results in Medina County, resulted in an unfavorable outlook for Jones, who decided against launching what would have been a costly recount effort.

Jones’ statement noted her campaign was about making sure “everyone is equal—equally deserving to be heard at the ballot box and served in our communities.”

Hurd, who had declared victory the day after the election, and urged Jones to concede, thanked her and her supporters “for engaging in the democratic process,” and stressed the importance of “a vigorous competition of ideas.”

Victory Fund tweeted its “deepest congratulations on running an absolute powerhouse of a campaign.”

“That Gina is only behind by 1,150 votes (out of 295k cast) is a testament to her drive and record of public service,” the statement added.

Jones was one of a historic number of LGBTQ candidates who ran in the midterm elections. Over 600 openly LGBTQ candidates launched bids for office this year, with 432 making it onto the ballot. A total of 56.5% of openly LGBTQ candidates won their races, including over 70% of those endorsed by Victory Fund.

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