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Ortiz Jones Attends New Lawmaker Orientation Even Though CD23 Race Not Final

Ana Isabel
Gina Ortiz Jones Campaign

The winner in the election for Texas' 23rd Congressional District is still not known, but Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democrat challenging Republican incumbent Will Hurd, traveled to Washington D.C on Wednesday and attended orientation for new lawmakers.

The Jones campaign said the head of the House Administration Committee invited Jones to orientation, despite not knowing the outcome of the election.

She was also invited to pose for a group photo with other freshman lawmakers in front of the U.S. Capitol.

Justin Hollis, Hurd's campaign manager, called it an act of desperation that ignores the voters' decision and wastes taxpayer money.

But the move may not be as strange as it sounds.

Jones wasn’t the only candidate in an undecided race to attend the orientation events. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who narrowly leads his Democratic opponent Bill Nelson, in the Florida Senate race was also in Washington.

Results from election night were too close to call, with Ortiz Jones trailing Hurd by more than 1,000 votes. The campaign is awaiting final results from all 29 counties within Congressional District 23, which includes all military, mail-in and cured or corrected provisional ballots, before announcing its next course of action, including a request for a recount.

County election officials have until Nov. 20 to certify all results and send them to the governor for final certification, which is expected to be sometime after Thanksgiving. 

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.