Lucio III, Dominguez win House primary races

HARLINGEN — Democratic incumbents Rep. Eddie Lucio III and Rep. Alex Dominguez rode their financial advantages to victory Tuesday in state House districts 38 and 37, pushing aside aggressive but underfunded opponents in the Democratic primary.

In state House District 37, Dominguez defeated former Cameron County Democratic Party chair Amber Medina by around 300 votes, 51 to 49 percent, according to unofficial results released by Cameron County elections officials.

Lucio won over Brownsville attorney Erin Gamez 54 percent to 46 percent, unofficial results show.

No Republicans were on the ballots in either of the state House district Republican primary races.

In House District 37, incumbent Dominguez, who first won office in 2018, survived a strong challenge from Medina. An attorney, he also serves as Cameron County Precinct 2 commissioner. Dominguez heavily outraised his challenger, raising $205,930 with an expenditure of $247,975, according to the latest campaign finance figures as of Feb. 22 from Transparency Texas. His largest donor was the political action group Texans for Lawsuit reform, which donated $35,000.

State Representative for District 37 Alex Dominguez waves to motorist during Super Tuesday in Cameron County.
Erin Gamez waves to motorist during Super Tuesday as she runs for Texas State Representative for District 38.
State Representative Eddie Lucio III waves to passing cars as he campaigns for re-election to Texas State Representative for District 38 Tuesday outside the polling location at Burns Elementary School.(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

Medina formerly served as an assistant district attorney with the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office. Now in private practice as an attorney, she was elected Cameron County Democratic Party chair in 2013.

Medina raised $36,000 and had an expenditure of $60,125 according to the latest filings. Her top donor was former state representative Rene Oliveira at $3,000.

Lucio, a lawyer first elected to the Texas House in 2006, was unopposed in both the Democratic primary and the general election in 2018. He is owner and manager of Orangetheory Fitness clubs in Brownsville and Harlingen.

The battle in the 38th House District was even more one-sided when it came to financing.

According to Texas Transparency, the latest campaign finance numbers dated Feb. 22 showed Lucio receiving campaign contributions totaling $439,348 with expenditures of $463,881.

Lucio’s top donor was the Austin property law tax firm, Popp Hutcherson PLLC, which contributed $50,000.

Gamez by contrast raised just $19,981 and spent $84,472, according to the campaign financing website. Her top donor was John Drennan Ventures, which contributed $5,000.

rkelley@valleystar.com