Vellejo declares victory In Texas’ 15th Congressional District runoff

Vellego declares eight days after election night with a 23-vote margin

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VERONICA CARDENAS/ Texas Tribune

Michelle Vallejo declared victory Wednesday in the Democratic primary runoff for the national battleground 15th Congressional District in South Texas.

PATRICK SVITEK, Texas Tribune

Michelle Vallejo declared victory Wednesday in the Democratic primary runoff for the national battleground 15th Congressional District in south Texas.

Her declaration came eight days after election night, when she emerged with a 23-vote margin over opponent Ruben Ramirez. 

Coming out of election night in the 15th District, both Vallejo and Ramirez had agreed the race was too close to call.

By Wednesday, three counties that make up all but a sliver of the electorate in the district — Hidalgo, Guadalupe and Jim Wells — had disclosed final unofficial results that expanded Vallejo’s lead to 33 votes.

But Ramirez was not ready to concede. His campaign said in a statement that “it is essential that every voter has their say before a final call is made.” 

Counties had until the end of day on Thursday to report final numbers to the state. Since election night, counties have been counting mail-in ballots postmarked in the 11th-hour, military and overseas ballots that were due Tuesday and provisional ballots.

Candidates can request recounts if their margin is less than 10% of the number of votes their opponent received. Ramirez is currently well within that range.

The Republican nominee for the open seat in the 15th District is Monica De La Cruz, who won her primary in March.

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