HALLBURG, Texas — For the first time in modern U.S. history, Houston voters in the first midterm election in Texas cast ballots at their own polling stations in the midst of a widespread flooding and high winds.
Houston voters went to the polls on Tuesday to vote in the runoff election between Democratic Rep. Bill Gonzales and Republican Rep. Jason Villalba.
“This is a historic election,” Gonzales told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday.
“I have a lot of faith in our people.”
The runoff was supposed to be between Gonzales, a Democrat, and Villalbo, a Republican, but the state’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott, opted not to hold a runoff election, a move that allowed Villalboes to win the election.
Villalboa defeated Gonzales by nearly 18 percentage points in the race for the U.D.N.T.A. chairman and chairman of the state Republican Party, and he has vowed to keep running for office.
The runoff elections, which took place in November and December, have become a flashpoint in the state after Texas’ Democratic Governor Greg Abbott canceled the runoff vote and announced that the Republican primary was over.
The vote was expected to have an impact on the runoff between Gonzals and Villals.
But many voters are concerned about the outcome, especially after the city’s flooding.
“It’s scary, because I think it’s been the last time we’ve had an election that was in a state of emergency,” said Houston resident, Julie Pascall, who was visiting Houston with her mother when the flood hit.
“But I guess we’re going to have to wait and see.”
Houston, a city of just over 1 million people, is also one of the country’s most heavily polluted cities, with the average daily particulate level above 30,000, according to a recent study by the American Lung Association.
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A Houston fire official said on Monday that the city was already seeing “significant” particulate levels as of Tuesday.
The Associated Press reported that the average pollution level in Houston is currently at around 10,000 micrograms per cubic meter.
The city has been in a partial lockdown since early Tuesday.
On Tuesday, several people were detained by police officers in a park, where they were blocking a street to prevent them from leaving the area.
Some of the people were arrested for obstructing the flow of traffic, according the AP.
On Monday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urged the public to stay inside, and asked people to refrain from leaving their homes until the city had fully recovered from the floods.
“All of us are in a lot more fear now than we were before,” Turner said.
“There are more people than ever before that are stranded.
We have a big city.
We’re going through a big crisis.”
Gonzales is a former state lawmaker who was elected in the Houston suburbs to represent a largely Hispanic district.
Villals district was a major battleground in the 2014 U.K. election, where he defeated the more conservative and business-friendly former mayor, Heath Robinson.
Gonzales has been a strong supporter of President Donald Trump.
During his time as chairman of Congress, Gonzales supported the President’s efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
Villales also pushed for the expansion of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which was opposed by many Democrats.
Gonzals’ victory comes just two months after the Democratic-controlled U.N., which is the international body that oversees international relations, voted to award him the Nobel Peace Prize.