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Texas 2020 Elections

State Rep. Lorraine Birabil concedes after primary runoff defeat

The Dallas Democrat won a special election runoff earlier this year to finish the term of Eric Johnson, now the Dallas mayor.

State Rep. Lorraine Birabil, D-Dallas, and Democratic challenger Jasmine Crockett.

State Rep. Lorraine Birabil, D-Dallas, conceded Tuesday in the primary runoff for her seat, which she won less than six months ago in a special election runoff.

Birabil admitted defeat after updated results from Dallas County — the only county in the district — showed her trailing challenger Jasmine Crockett by 90 votes out of 10,252. Birabil was down 92 votes after election night last week, and her campaign had said it was waiting to see the results after more mail ballots came in.

"I want to congratulate Jasmine Crockett on her efforts and wish her luck," Birabil said in a statement Tuesday. "I look forward to continuing the necessary work on the issues that matter most, including affordable healthcare, quality public schools, voting rights, and criminal justice reform."

The loss will bring an abrupt end to Birabil's tenure, meaning she will not get the opportunity to serve in the Legislature during a regular session. Her time in office began earlier this year after she won a Jan. 28 special election runoff to finish the term of Eric Johnson, now the Dallas mayor. Birabil had drawn five challengers in the March primary for the next full term, and she advanced to the runoff against Crockett after getting 29% of the vote to Crockett's 26%.

Crockett, a civil rights attorney, took a victory lap in a statement Tuesday.

"Anyone who questions if their vote counts, let our election be an answer," she said. "We didn't have the most money, the backing of those in power, and were labelled 'too progressive' for the bluest seat in Texas."

Birabil is not the only winner of a special election runoff this year who will not get a chance to serve in Austin when the Legislature meets again in January. Rep. Anna Eastman, D-Houston, who won the special election runoff Jan. 28 to replace former Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, lost her primary runoff last week.

Birabil is the fourth Texas House incumbent to lose in a primary runoff this cycle. In addition to Eastman, two Republican representatives, Dan Flynn of Canton and J.D. Sheffield of Gatesville, were defeated last week.

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