Vela beats challengers: Dist. 34 congressman will oppose Gonzalez on Nov. 3

U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela

District 34 U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela easily bested primary opponents in Tuesday’s election and will go on to face Republican Rey Gonzalez in the Nov. 3 general election.

Vela won a total of 39,233 votes, or 75.04 percent, compared to the second-place challenger, Diego Zavala, who won 9,658 votes or 18.47 percent.

In third place with 3,395 votes, 6.49 percent, was Osbert Rodriguez Haro III. The total vote count district-wide was 52,286. In Cameron County, Vela received 23,678 votes, 76.45 percent, to Zavala’s 5,301 votes, or 17.12 percent.

District 34 is composed of Bee, Cameron, DeWitt, Goliad, Kenedy, Kleberg and Willacy counties, and portions of Gonzales, Hidalgo, Jim Wells and San Patricio counties.

Vela said he’s honored that District 34’s Democratic voters gave him the opportunity again to represent them on the November ballot.

“I appreciate the graciousness which my two opponents have shown during the course of this race and know they have a bright future,” he said. “I look forward to the general election and fully expect to represent this district for another two years in Congress, with what I am hopeful will be a Democratic president.”

Vela was first elected to the Texas Legislature in 2012 and was reelected in 2016, defeating Gonzalez. Vela serves on the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit and Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, and chairs the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.

He also served on the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, and the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces.

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com