Throwback Thursday, Bonus H.D. 118 Edition: Two Republicans Are Vying for San Antonio’s Open Seat And They’re Both Stuck in 2016

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Democrats are mobilizing to get San Antonians out to vote in the House District 118 election, and elect another strong Democratic voice to a seat that has remained blue for the last two terms. Democratic candidates Katie Farias, Desi Martinez, and Frank Ramirez continue to run strong campaigns and offer San Antonians their vision for a better future for all. Early voting is underway this week, with the special election being held on Tuesday, September 28.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the two Republican candidates, who appear completely absorbed in the issues of 2016, not 2021. John Lujan’s candidacy itself is a blast from the past: Lujan was elected to the H.D. 118 seat during a special election in early 2016, but did not even manage to hold onto the seat for a full year, as he was ousted by Democrats in the 2016 regular elections. Despite being again defeated by Democrats in 2018 — this time by a full 16 point margin — Lujan is back for more, five years after his initial defeat. Among other rightwing policy positions, in a throwback to not five years ago but five decades, Lujan has promised to fall in line with the rest of Texas Republicans’ all-out attack on Texans’ health care, including abortion access.

The GOP’s other candidate, Adam Salyer, has also already lost an election bid for the district — running and losing as the 2020 GOP nominee. And like Lujan, Salyer wears his extreme-right politics openly:

GOP candidate for H.D. 118 Adam Salyer in a “Make D-118 Great Again” cap.

We’ve got to say — the man looks perplexed. And we would be too if, like Salyer, we were under the impression it’s still 2016. But a return to the start of the Trump era is the opposite of what San Antonio needs. During Trump’s presidency, San Antonians suffered increased threats of violence to Black and Brown residents as Trump fanned the flames of racism and hate — and when Trump refused to take action to mitigate the pandemic, families across the city suffered preventable sickness, loss, and economic uncertainty. Unlike Salyer and Lujan, the majority of San Antonians do not want to go back to 2016 — they want to move forward towards a more prosperous future for all. Texas Democrats will continue organizing to get voters to the polls to elect a Democratic representative who can deliver on that better future.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“I’m incredibly excited to have three strong Democratic candidates running to represent San Antonio in the House District 118 election. Katie Farias, Desi Martinez, and Frank Ramirez have all consistently proven that they put people above politics or profit, and are committed to help San Antonians build a more prosperous future for themselves and their families.

“By contrast, the two Republican candidates seem hellbent on dragging San Antonio back into the past. John Lujan and Adam Salyer are purely focused on regressive policies, and are obsessed with winning a seat that they have both already failed to win in previous elections. San Antonians deserve leaders who look forward and seek solutions to the everyday issues facing our communities — and the only candidates offering those solutions right now are Democrats. I encourage all San Antonians in House District 118 to cast their vote for a Democrat during early voting this week or on Election Day on Tuesday, September 28.”