After losing his San Antonio-area seat to a Democrat in 2020, former Republican state Sen. Pete Flores announced he is running for the open seat in Senate District 24, under the redrawn district lines.
Previously a state senator for SD19, a retired game warden, and a self-described pro-business fiscal conservative, Flores was the first Hispanic Republican to win a state Senate seat after he beat Democrat Pete Gallego in a 2018 special election.
He later lost in the 2020 general election to San Antonio Democrat Roland Gutierrez.
According to the Texas Tribune, SD24 was significantly redrawn in the first proposed map to include his hometown and to be safer for a Republican than his old district where he lost to a Democrat. Within hours, Flores got the endorsement of the current SD-24 incumbent, Sen. Dawn Buckingham, and then Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate.
“It’s not the old District 19, but it still encompasses the heartland of Texas — the parts of Texas I most closely identify with,” Flores said in a Monday news release. “I know the people and the ideas and values they hold dear. It’s the town squares, cafes and diners, feed stores, and Walmarts where I am most comfortable.”
Dawn Buckingham will be leaving the seat to run for Texas Land Commissioner, an ambition the Republican from Travis County started with strong fundraising, with $2 million already in her campaign bank.
Buckingham, whose district has been redrawn without her in it, said the race was an opportunity “to walk the walk, you know, and not just talk the talk.”
However, this is the first time in decades federal law allows Texas to draw and use political maps without first getting federal approval to ensure that they’re not disenfranchising the voting rights of people of color.