Skip to comments.Bill Flores wins GOP runoff [Will face Chet Edwards in TX-17]
Posted on 04/14/2010 7:52:57 AM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative
Retired oil and gas executive Bill Flores cruised to an easy victory Tuesday night in the Republican runoff for Congress, setting up a potentially heated and expensive general election race against Democratic incumbent Chet Edwards.
Flores won by an 18 percent margin over Waco small business owner Rob Curnock, who was significantly under-funded but hoped momentum and name recognition from his unsuccessful 2008 race against Edwards would carry him to victory.
Flores sold himself as an experienced businessman whose real-world knowledge made him qualified for the position. He also had a larger campaign staff and more resources to make that pitch across Congressional District 17, which stretches from Bryan-College Station northwestward through Waco to near Fort Worth.
Flores was considered by many to be the favorite in the runoff, but the margin of victory came as a surprise. He won 21,314 votes, or 64 percent, compared to 11,901 for Curnock, or 36 percent. In the March primary, Flores won 33 percent of the vote, compared to 29 percent for Curnock.
Flores even won McClennan County -- which contains Curnock's hometown of Waco -- by a 16 percent margin. In March, Curnock won that area with 35 percent compared to 30 percent for Flores.
Curnock conceded the race before 8 p.m. by placing a call to Flores' election headquarters at the Best Western Atrea in Bryan. It was decided so early that campaign workers were left scrambling to rework the schedule of Flores' election night party. About 100 people drank wine and celebrated the victory in the hotel's conference room as vote totals were displayed on a projection screen.
"I am just so surprised," Flores said. "I was not expecting [the victory] to come so quickly, in such a compelling manner."
Flores will now set his sights on Edwards, who serves in the most Republican district held by a Democrat in the country. The Flores campaign hopes to bank on what it perceives as growing local and national discontent with the Democratic Party and has already sought to associate Edwards with President Barack Obama and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
"We don't need a chameleon in Congress, we need a businessman who will drastically cut spending, remove the barriers to economic recovery, help fix the mess we're in and come home," Flores said.
Edwards, on the other hand, is hoping that voters' frustration isn't specifically with him but with the culture of partisanship in Washington. He voted against the Democrats' health care overhaul and claims an independent philosophy. In fundraising letters this year, he's portrayed Flores as a candidate hand-picked by the national Republican Party.
Edwards watched the election results in Washington with his family, a campaign staffer said.
"Chet congratulates Mr. Flores on his nomination and looks forward to the campaign ahead," said Alex Youn, Edwards' campaign manager. "However, Chet's main focus will continue to be on creating and protecting jobs, fighting for veterans and troops and providing an independent voice for our district. That is why Chet continues to receive strong support from Republicans, Democrats and independents alike."
Both Flores and Curnock took repeated shots at Edwards during the primary campaign. They agreed on most issues, but fought over who was most capable of defeating Edwards in the general election.
Curnock maintained that he was the only one to step forward and run in 2008, when many thought Edwards was unbeatable. He lost by 7.5 percent of the vote -- less than many expected -- even though he had no national party support. His 2008 showing is one reason Republicans feel they have a chance this year.
Curnock never stopped campaigning after the 2008 race, and spent more than $50,000 of his own money on his campaign. He said he was surprised with the decisive result.
"We really felt like we could finish the job we started before, but the voters decided they wanted to try another direction," Curnock said. "We respect that decision and we go on from there."
According to the article, TX-17 is the most Republican district represented by a Democrat in the entire country.
Republicans and conservatives, this time vote your actual values, and don't get sucked in by Chet's bribes and his cynical appeals to Aggie patriotism.
It is time that Chet Edwards gets out of Washington. and someone that will work for all the people to go in..
Republicans lose big...big!
Is the fire going out that quickly? What will happen in Nov.?
Chet “Honeybee” Edwards has been ‘bringing home the bacon’ to Ft. Hood for 20 years.
(Even though he was redistricted out of Bell County in 1991.)
But, it’s time for Pelosi’s butt-boy to retire. GO FLORES!
You mean Wexler’s old district?
There was no chance of a Pubbie winning there. It’s almost as RAT as Pelosi’s district.
Dont lose sleep over it. That race means NOTHING.
Where did they lose?
Having Chet in Congress paves the way for Pelosi’ agenda. That should be all good Aggies need to know.
What happened was the GOP candidate did better than the last time he ran the race against Wexler. I expected better and sadly this is a race that we could have won if the GOP had gotten out the vote but they didn’t. The total vote was a little over 55,000 if even half of registered GOP had voted Lynch would’ve won handily. They didn’t they enjoyed the day and stayed home or whatever they were doing. A big problem was Lynch not having nearly enough money and the RNC didn’t help either because even if he won it there was doubt he could hold it. I think that is the wrong perspective but I hope someone runs again in this district for Nov. A candidate with enough money and a targeted message could win here. It would be hard and a long shot but if this district is ever going to go Republican it would be this year.
We should be emboldened a bit the Democrat turnout was depressed. The two conservatives in the race together took a bigger margin than McCain or George Bush in that district. The horrid thing is if even half of the GOP voters had been gotten out to vote Lynch would’ve won. Only 55,000 or so voted in a district with nearly 500,000 registered voters. This is one we could have won with GOTV but that takes money.
Oh, The special house election race in Florida 19 does mean something. The turnout when judged against the other “special elections” this year was dismal to say the least. The Republican turnout was to be expected because the district is so heavily weighted Democrat, no Republican or conservative would or could have a chance to win. Now, on the Democrat side, there is another story, not good for Democrats here and across the country. The district is weighted with Jewish senior citizens who would vote Democrat if Yassar Arafat ran on the Democrat ticket. They, in no way possible, would ever vote for a Republican even, if Barack Hussein Obama destroys all of Israel (which he will). The fact the so many elderly Jews chose to stay home and sit on their hands is a positive sign. Now they will not vote for a Republican, but they voted against Obama and the Democrat Party by sitting on their hands and not voting for the Democrat candidate. Why? Two reasons, Israel and Obamacare. The Republicans better wise up and take a hard look at this district for victory in November. The Broward County votes were pretty close. Palm Beach County, as expected handed the election to the Democrat. Unrest and distaste for Obama is brewing among the voters in Florida 19. The turnout percentage is very interesting and should be watched as November draws closer. We could win this district if this trend continues. Just gotta use our brains a bit!!! And....motivate a Republican/Conservative base that has been in the doghouse far too long and has fallen asleep at the wheel of being beaten before they start. Had the Pubbies turned out enmasse, we would have taken this deadbeat Democrat. The Republican leadership, it seems has a number of its own deadbeats in District 19. Too much Florida sunshine and cocktail parties forthe country club Republicans and....no fire in the belly. Sad!!!
Maybe so, but for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If pre-election polls had shown that the race was tight, don’t you think reliable Democrats would have been called repeatedly and offered rides to the polls in exchange for voting Deutsch? Democrats have ways of getting the votes they need to win and are especially effective when it’s close. This wasn’t, so no need to get off their duffs.
I agree with you, Dems know how to get out their voters. They did not have to do this because the Republican leadership was asleep at the wheel. IMHO, a seat we could have won if we were on our game. The Dems were so confident and brazen that victory was in the bag and...they were right on. Shame on Governor Christ and the Florida Republican leadership!!! Losers, all of them!!!
Lynch was a lousy candidate with IRS problems and no money and the RNC sat it out. Thats what.
Want to win a horse race? Don’t run a nag.
I have Jewish relatives there. They didnt vote for the Messiah (first time not voting RAT in 60 odd years). I dont know if they voted for Deutsch or stayed home. But I am heartened to hear your analysis. Makes my day in fact. Thanks for taking the time.
For your spreadsheet — The runoff in Texas 17 has been decided. Bill Flores will run against Chet Edwards.