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Sessions defeats Swann in District 17 GOP runoff

Sessions defeats Swann in District 17 GOP runoff

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Pete Sessions defeated Renee Swann in a runoff election Tuesday, ending a contentious race in the District 17 Republican primary to succeed retiring Rep. Bill Flores of Bryan.

Sessions now will face Rick Kennedy, who won the Democratic primary runoff over David Jaramillo, a former Marine and first-time candidate.

Kennedy, 57, the party nominee two years ago, lost to Flores in 2018.

“My work starts tomorrow, and so I extend this request to all citizens of this congressional district — please reach out to me with your ideas, concerns and needs,” Kennedy said in a press release after his victory.

“I want to hear from you so I can best represent you, not the establishment, not big money, not dark money, not a particular party, not the president,” said Kennedy. “To David Jaramillo, and to primary candidate William Foster III, thank you for running principled, issues-oriented campaigns. I sincerely hope you stay in the political arena; our country needs people of your caliber and passion. What you decide to do next, I wish you both the best.”

Sessions led Swann late Tuesday night 54% to 46%, or 18,447 votes to 15,687, with more than 80% of polling places reporting. Swann’s campaign confirmed she had conceded the election.

“This has been a long, protracted battle where people clearly understood the differences in our campaigns,” Sessions said after his victory. “They clearly understand that I intend to continue my 22-year perfect record for the Texas Farm Bureau, that I intend to continue my 100% record for right to life and my 100% record for supporting the National Rifle Association.

“I am going to represent a powerful district that will be led from the bottom up, not the top down from now on. Mr. Flores liked to get things from the top down, and I am not that way.”

Sessions said he is grateful for the support of his Republican primary opponents Scott Bland, George Hindman and Laurie McReynolds, adding his campaign benefited from their ideas.

Swann, an executive in the medical field in Waco, lost McLennan County to Sessions by 2,400 votes. The tally was 8,077 to 5,677, or 58.7% to 41.3%.

Late Tuesday, the districtwide tally for Kennedy and Jaramillo stood at 13,284 votes to 9,908, or 57.3% to 42.7%, with more than 80% of polling places reporting. In McLennan County, Kennedy took 3,606 votes to Jaramillo’s 2,567, or 58.4% to 41.6%.

Jaramillo announced his concession in a Facebook Live post.

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