Flores Easily Beats Curnock in Texas Runoff

Posted April 13, 2010 at 8:46pm

Texas businessman Bill Flores easily beat businessman Rob Curnock in Tuesday’s Republican runoff in the 17th district, where Rep. Chet Edwards (D) is seeking re-election.

Flores had 63 percent of the vote in very early returns, but it was the distribution of votes cast during the state’s early-voting period that augured well for him. He won 76 percent of early votes in Brazos County, his home base, and even took 62 percent in McLennan County, which includes Curnock’s hometown of Waco.

In a five-candidate primary election on March 2, Flores led Curnock by 33 percent to 29 percent. Flores was far better-funded than Curnock, who lost to Edwards in 2008, and he secured the endorsements of the third and fourth-place finishers.

Edwards is a perennial target for Republicans in the conservative district, but he has held on to win re-election despite the GOP’s efforts to defeat him over the years.

Elsewhere in Texas runoff results Tuesday, businessman Francisco “Quico” Canseco defeated ex-CIA official Will Hurd in the GOP runoff in the 23rd district.

With about 90 percent of precincts reporting, Canseco led Hurd, 53 percent to 47 percent, and the Associated Press called the contest for Canseco, who will face Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D) in the general election.

Hurd narrowly led Canseco, 34 percent to 32 percent, in a five-candidate primary on March 2 that produced no outright majority-vote winner. But Canseco early Tuesday evening jumped out to a big lead in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio and is the dominant population center in the 23rd, which stretches west for hundreds of miles to the edge of El Paso.

Hurd could not overcome Canseco’s lead in the San Antonio area. Canseco only narrowly lost to Hurd in Medina County, where Hurd had done very well in the March balloting.

Canseco emphasized his Hispanic ethnicity in a district where about two-thirds of residents are Hispanic. Hurd touted his familiarity with national security issues and built a network of supporters from Texas A&M University, where he was once the student body president.

This is Canseco’s third attempt to win a Congressional seat and his second try in the 23rd district, where he lost a Republican primary in 2008.