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Women were the real winners of the Texas primaries

Texas is about to elect its first Latina congresswoman ... or two.

Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images

Tuesday night, as the results for Texas’s midterm primary election rolled in, an uplifting trend began to emerge: Women just couldn’t stop winning.

Of the nearly 50 women running for Congress in Texas, more than half won their primaries or advanced to runoffs. Even more striking, at least three of those May runoffs will feature women going head-to-head, including a pivotal race for Democrats in their bid to take control of the House this fall.

The state is also close to electing its first Latina congresswoman in history — and possibly the first two. As the Texas Tribune’s Abby Livingston and Julián Aguilar reported:

In El Paso, former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar declared victory Tuesday night in her race to replace Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is running for the US Senate. Across the state, state Sen. Sylvia Garcia won her bid for the Democratic nomination to replace Rep. Gene Green, (D-Houston).

Each woman won the Democratic primary in districts that are heavily favored to go to their party in the fall.

Other successful female candidates include Laura Moser, a Democrat who has been the subject of controversy in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) over past comments about Texas and influence from her husband’s company. She will advance to a primary runoff against lawyer Lizzie Pannill Fletcher in a bid to unseat Rep. John Culberson (R).

GOP mega-donor Kathaleen Wall, however, who spent $6 million of her own money on her campaign, failed to win her race.

Every candidate Emily’s List endorsed either won outright or advanced to a runoff in their Democratic primaries. The organization seeks to get pro-choice women into office.

The strong showing by female candidates is in part thanks to an inflated Democratic voter turnout. By early Wednesday, Democratic vote totals neared 1 million — almost double 2014’s turnout, a number not seen since the post-9/11 2002 races. (Democrats still fell short of Republicans’ 1.4 million votes, which saw a modest increase over 2014 totals.)

Women across the country are running for Congress in unprecedented numbers this year, with more than twice as many women launching campaigns for the 2018 midterms than they did in 2016.

This post has been updated to clarify sourcing.

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