AUSTIN (KXAN) — Greg Casar thanked dozens of supporters at his watch party on Tuesday night, saying his campaign win is part of a larger progressive movement.

“We built it striking at fast-food restaurants, fighting for 15; we built this fighting for survivors of sexual assault; we built it fighting for paid sick days; we built it standing up for unhoused brothers and sisters; we built it marching in the streets in the movement for Black lives; we built this together through wins and losses,” he said.

The vacant seat in Congressional District 35 had created a highly-contested race for Texas Democrats. The district, which covers east and southeast Travis County and snakes down narrowly along Interstate 35 into San Antonio, has been represented by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, since its drawing in 2010. But Doggett’s decision to run for reelection in newly-drawn District 37 has opened the door for four candidates hoping to seize the Democratic nomination and ultimately, the general election.

Texas District 35 (KXAN Graphic)
Texas District 35 (KXAN Graphic)

The most widely recognized candidates included former Austin City Council member Casar, State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez and former San Antonio City Council member Rebecca Viagran. Candidate Carla-Joy Sisco, a consultant, has not served in public office. 

KXAN projected Casar will win the Democratic nomination, just before 10 p.m. Tuesday. He ended up with 61.25% (25,313) of the vote. Rodriguez had 15.58% (6,438), Viagran had 15.52% (6,416) and Sisco had 7.65% (3,163).

Casar is known for being one of Austin’s most progressive politicians. During his four terms on the Austin City Council, he led controversial reforms such as reallocating the city’s police budget by $150 million. His campaign gained major traction through the endorsements of high-profile Washington progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts.

“I’ve spent years organizing and supporting communities in east Austin, but also through Hays County and down to San Antonio,” Casar said. “I’m the progressive leader with the background to actually directly represent and fight for people that get left out and then to actually deliver real results.”

Meeting with journalists after his victory speech, Casar said he’s focused on taking on his Republican challenger in the November election.

Dist. 35 GOP Primary Candidates

Dan McQueen and Michael Rodriguez emerged from a crowded field of GOP candidates and will advance to a runoff in May for the US House District 35 nomination.

McQueen topped the list with 21% of the vote to Rodriguez’s 15%. McQueen received 2,869 total votes to Rodriguez’s 2,031. Bill Condict (11%), Marilyn Jackson (11%) and Daw Sawatzki (10%) rounded out the top five.

The winner of the run-off will take on Casar in November.