O'Rourke Defeats 8-Term Incumbent Reyes

EL PASO, Texas - Beto O?Rourke has defeated incumbent Congressman Silvestre Reyes in the Texas Democratic primary.

O'Rourke received 23,248 votes (50.47 percent) and Reyes received 20,427 votes (44.35 percent).

A candidate needs to win more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a run-off election.

After speaking to his supporters Tuesday night, Reyes talked to the media and gave his reason why he thought he lost the election.

"The El Paso Times started working against me since August. I mean, they were part of generating, instead of reporting, they generated publicity for his campaign," Reyes said.

O'Rourke said it came down to voters wanting a change.

"I tell you, it was just that people were ready for change," O'Rourke said during his victory celebration. "There's an old saying, 'there's nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.' And I think the idea, the time has come in El Paso and there was nothing that was gonna stop it."

Reyes spoke to O'Rourke Wednesday afternoon and conceded the race.

"I take this time to congratulate Mr. Beto O'Rourke in winning the 16th District of Texas Democratic Primary," Reyes said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "My staff and I are ready to work with the new Congressperson and their incoming staff to transition the office and to continue the vital work it provides this community."

O?Rourke, who previously served as an El Paso City Council representative, is running for the 16th congressional district of Texas for the first time. O'Rourke gained national attention while on City Council when he wrote a resolution asking that there be an international discussion about the decriminalization of marijuana.

The sentence was deleted from the resolution but O'Rourke has written a book on reforming U.S. drug policy and the need for a discussion to consider decriminalizing marijuana. O'Rourke has said that jobs and the economy would be his focus if elected to Congress.

Reyes has held the congressional seat since 1996. Reyes serves on the House Armed Services Committee and on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

O'Rourke will face Republican Barbara Carrasco in November.

Related Links:cLinks: National Stories On O'Rourke's Win Over Reyes

ABC-7 Xtra Debate: Reyes, O'Rourke Debate The Issues

Election Results

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