Vela wins District 34 Democratic Party runoff

Denise Saenz Blanchard File Photo

Attorney Filemon Vela has won the Democratic nomination for an open South Texas congressional seat.

Vela defeated Denise Saenz-Blanchard in the race to represent the newly drawn 34th Congressional District that runs along the Texas coast down to the Rio Grande Valley.

His father was a federal judge in Brownsville for more than two decades.

Saenz-Blanchard had been a top aide to former Congressman Solomon Ortiz, who was voted out of office in 2011 after nearly 30 years in Washington.

Vela had led in the May 29 with more than 40 percent of the vote, while Saenz-Blanchard had come in second.

Vela moves on the general election Nov. 6.