McAllen attorney Vincente Gonzalez and Edinburg school board Trustee Juan “Sonny” Palacios Jr. will have a rematch in May.
Gonzalez won about 42 percent of ballots cast in the six-way Democratic Party primary for U.S. House District 15, according to preliminary results published by the Texas Secretary of State’s Office and the Hidalgo County Elections Department. Gonzalez emerged from a crowded field with a commanding lead. He’ll face Palacios, who finished second with about 19 percent of the vote.
The McAllen attorney spent heavily on campaign workers and advertising.
Hidalgo County anchors the congressional district, which runs north through Falfurrias, George West and Three Rivers, loops east around San Antonio and stops near Seguin.
Six candidates filed for the congressional seat last year, when U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-McAllen — who voters sent to Washington nearly 20 years ago — announced he wouldn’t run for re-election.
> Dolly Elizondo, a real estate broker and former chairwoman of the Hidalgo County Democratic Party.
> Juan “Sonny” Palacios Jr., an attorney who serves on the Edinburg school board.
> Vicente Gonzalez, a McAllen attorney.
> Ruben Ramirez, a U.S. Army veteran and law student.
> Rance G. “Randy” Sweeten, the chairman of the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority board.
> Joel Quintanilla, the former Hidalgo County Precinct 1 commissioner and former mayor of Mercedes.
The candidate who wins the Democratic Party primary runoff will almost certainly represent District 15 in Congress. Voters have never elected a Republican to represent the congressional district.