By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Longtime District 37 State Rep. René Oliveira is headed to a runoff after none of the three candidates vying for the seat managed to get the 50 percent plus 1 votes needed to win the Democratic primary election Tuesday.
Oliveira, who has held the seat since 1981 — for all but four years, will face Cameron County Commissioner Alex Dominguez in the May 22 primary runoff. Oliveira received 4,801 votes to Dominguez’s 3,709. The third candidate, Brownsville native Arturo Alonzo, received 1,527 votes.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Oliveira was optimistic about his runoff chances. “We were pleased with the early voting results. Obviously, the goal was to try to get to 50 percent plus 1,” he said. “We were 100 votes away from winning without a runoff,” he said.
For his part, Dominguez said his campaign had anticipated the runoff after seeing the early voter turnout. “I think after the early vote came in we realized it was going to be a low voter turnout election, so the percentages were probably going to stay where they were, more or less, and it was probably going to be a runoff,” Dominguez said. “We could tell that right away,” he said.
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