(THE HILL) -- Texas Republicans will hold a key suburban seat in the state House after their candidate cruised to a surprisingly easy win in the Houston area on Tuesday.
Gary Gates, a businessman who spent nearly $2 million on his own campaign, scored 58 percent of the vote in the runoff election to outpace Eliz Markowitz, a Democrat and an education expert making her second run for office.
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Democrats had spent heavily on Markowitz's behalf in a district that seemed to be trending their way. Groups like Forward Majority and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee invested more than $600,000 in her campaign, a startling amount for an election in which the winner would not even get to serve in Austin before the next election in November.