Texas held a special election Tuesday for House District 28, in the suburbs of Houston. Labeled a “bellwether” race, Democrats pumped a very pretty penny into this race. Republican Gary Gates outright defeated Democratic challenger Eliz Markowitz by a whopping 16 percentage points.
HUGE win tonight in #HD28 for @GatesforTexas.— Texans for Abbott (@AbbottCampaign) January 29, 2020
All the grassroots momentum pushed it over the finish line. Thank you to all of the volunteers who knocked thousands of doors and made thousands of phone calls in Fort Bend County.#KeepTexasRed ?????? #txlege pic.twitter.com/uan0xJvTLX
Democrats nationalized a race in a red state, once again. The party not only funneled money into the 28th House District special election but also sent nationally recognized surrogates and supporters to assist in the grassroots campaign efforts. 2020 Democratic contenders Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, and, of course, Beto O’Rourke, all spent time campaigning in the district. The combination of a one million dollar investment and the support of extremely relatable Democratic candidates was not a winning strategy, alas.
Gary Gates defeated the entire national Democratic party tonight. Backed by $1M and support from @BetoORourke, @JoeBiden, @ElizabethWarren, and more -- Dems truly believed they could buy Texas. They were wrong. Congrats on the HUGE win tonight, @GatesforTexas! pic.twitter.com/WF1MdpaaNU— Republican State Leadership Committee (@RSLC) January 29, 2020
Still recovering from a tough loss in the 2020 Democratic primary, Beto, who many viewed as a competitive contender for the presidency, threw his unwavering support behind Markowitz’s bid for HD28. Beto even told a crowd of voters that this race renewed his “purpose,” per The Austin-American Statesman.
“...there was a time when we were a little bit despondent and probably a little bit depressed and wondering just what our purpose was on this planet,” O’Rourke said. “But in doing this for Eliz, and being part of Powered by the People, I really have found that purpose and function again and I’m really hopeful about our country, about this race, about Texas, but just on a very personal level,” Beto said.
During his bid for Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) Senate seat in 2018, Beto was hailed as the new, young hero of the Democratic Party. As Americans saw on the “blue wave” election night in 2018, the former congressman’s Senate dreams died. Following his try at unseating Sen. Cruz, despite squashing rumors that he was mulling a run for the White House, Beto joined the crowded field of progressives in the Democratic Primary. He never broke five percent in a reputable poll, and the most that voters will remember about Beto’s bid for the presidency, aside from his tendency to jump on elevated surfaces, is his broken Spanish during the June primary debate.
Of course, voters also cannot forget Beto’s promise that he will knock on the doors of law-abiding Americans and forcibly take their guns; the Second Amendment is no match for Beto.
Beto saw the HD28 special election as an opportunity to re-enter the political scene, but despite being elevated by national Democrats in 2018, Beto’s credibility is utterly diminished. Better luck next time, Robert.