The day after Republican John Logan won a special election for the Texas House 118 district, he found himself walking away from his job as the owner of two companies while making phone calls from well-wishers, including some highly regarded political figures.
“that it. [John] “Cornin called to congratulate me,” Logan said. “It was a huge honor. and then [former Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo – I met him two weeks ago and we took a picture and had a good discussion. Then this morning he called me and after that we had a good 30 minute conversation. It was really cool talking to a guy I admire.”
Logan’s victory was one of many Republicans celebrated on Tuesday night, including the Virginia gubernatorial race, where Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe. President Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 points in 2020.
On Tuesday, fewer than 300 votes pushed Logan to a seat in the Texas House of Representatives. He and Democrat Frank Ramirez reached the runoff after receiving the most votes in the September 28 special election for HD 118, which covers most of southern Bexar County and parts of the East and Northeast.
This isn’t the first time Logan has taken office. In 2016, Logan won a special election for the same seat. He later lost it later that year to former State Representative Thomas Oreste, a Democrat. Logan lost again in 2018 to former Representative Leo Pacheco, who is also a Democrat. Pacheco won re-election in 2020 but resigned in August to take up a job at San Antonio College.
The tight race was no surprise, especially in the run-off that was announced one week before early voting began. But as the boundaries of the HD 118 are redrawn during the Texas legislative redistricting process, Logan’s chances of retaining the seat may have increased.
In 2020, Biden won HD 118 with 56% of the vote. On new district lines and the same electoral activity, Biden would have won only about 51% of the vote, according to the Texas Tribune.
But even with new county boundaries in 2022, people shouldn’t attach too much importance to the outcome of the HD 118 special election, warned John Taylor, a political science professor and department chair at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“It just highlights the sense that Republicans can protest a vacated State House seat where the person who won has done so before and may not win reelection in 2022,” Taylor said. “It does not portend some kind of major shift in Texas politics.”
Brandon Rottinghouse, professor of political science at the University of Houston, agrees. Out-of-cycle elections in Bexar County typically have low voter turnout, especially among Democratic voters.
“It’s hard to make broad conclusions,” he said.
Logan attributed his victory to last-minute efforts to attract voters to the polls on Election Day. The special run-off of the election and the statewide constitutional amendment election was conducted on two separate papers, and not every polling station in Bexar County had ballots for HD 118. Lujan’s campaign passed through the list of voters who voted in the constitutional amendment election but not in the said round. The special rerun of the election, then he, his family, and volunteers called these people to urge them to vote on November 2.
He said, “Not a lot of people realized, ‘Oh, I have to come back.’” I said, ‘Yeah, you have to go vote a second time.’
This double ballot issue makes Logan think his chances of being reelected in 2022 are much better. Without asking people to vote in specific locations and on two separate cards, expect his win to be even bigger.
Either way, Logan was more successful in persuading voters during the runoff.
“Campaigns are all about the basics,” Rottinghaus said. “It’s not rocket science. The technology has changed, but the fundamentals haven’t changed — it’s still about getting in touch with voters and making sure they get out to vote.”
Although he said he would be surprised to see a primary contender in March, Logan can expect at least one Democratic opponent in 2022. Ramirez told his supporters Tuesday night that he will be back in the March primary and running for HD 118 again.
During the campaign, Logan cited not only his past time as an actor for HD 118 but as a businessman as well. He owns IT company Sistema Technologies and consulting firm Y&L Consulting. He worked for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy for six years and at the San Antonio Fire Department as a firefighter for 25 years.
Logan will serve the remainder of Pacheco’s term, which runs through the end of 2022. Although he likely won’t see a legislative session before then, Logan said he already has a list of items to address. He hopes to meet with school district administrators within HD 118 to find out where things are working and where not, as well as to speak with foster care agencies and stakeholders about the ongoing adoption care crisis.
“I will have the power of the title,” he said. “That’s what I learned when I won the last time and I wasn’t in the session, so I want to do it now. If I am not elected, I will use this time wisely and get things done for the betterment of our community.”