Republican John Carter defeats Democratic viral sensation MJ Hegar in Texas

Rep. John Carter survived a challenge from Democrat Mary Jennings Hegar in Texas’ 31st Congressional District.

Air Force veteran “MJ” Hegar’s cinematic and biographical ads attracted a remarkable level of nationwide attention and campaign donations, but they weren’t enough to pry the reliably conservative lawmaker from his seat this year.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="First elected in 2003, Carter ran on traditional Republican principles. Whereas Hegar would have contributed to the Democratic resistance to many of President Trump’s projects, Carter is a steadfast White House ally and was viewed as continuing his support of Trump’s policies on Capitol Hill. He votes in line with Trump’s position 97.8 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.” data-reactid=”26″>First elected in 2003, Carter ran on traditional Republican principles. Whereas Hegar would have contributed to the Democratic resistance to many of President Trump’s projects, Carter is a steadfast White House ally and was viewed as continuing his support of Trump’s policies on Capitol Hill. He votes in line with Trump’s position 97.8 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Just like the loss of Beto O’Rourke in Texas-16, Hegar’s loss illustrates the limits of viral success and progressive enthusiasm in a traditionally conservative part of the country.” data-reactid=”27″>Just like the loss of Beto O’Rourke in Texas-16, Hegar’s loss illustrates the limits of viral success and progressive enthusiasm in a traditionally conservative part of the country.

Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2015. (AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Carter had not faced a serious threat from Democrats until Hegar emerged with an exceptional digital ad called “Doors.” It focused on her military experience and successful fight to have the Defense Department overturn its rule banning women from many combat positions.” data-reactid=”39″>Carter had not faced a serious threat from Democrats until Hegar emerged with an exceptional digital ad called “Doors.” It focused on her military experience and successful fight to have the Defense Department overturn its rule banning women from many combat positions.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The ad turned Hegar into a fundraising juggernaut, and she amassed $3.4 million to Carter’s $1.5 million. Early on, political strategists speculated that her candidacy — which resonated with voters who wanted to see more women and veterans on the ballot — could be a dark-horse victory for Democrats.” data-reactid=”40″>The ad turned Hegar into a fundraising juggernaut, and she amassed $3.4 million to Carter’s $1.5 million. Early on, political strategists speculated that her candidacy — which resonated with voters who wanted to see more women and veterans on the ballot — could be a dark-horse victory for Democrats.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The campaign emphasized Hegar’s toughness through press releases — several described her as “Badass Democratic Candidate MJ Hegar” — and ads that incorporated her motorcycle and tattoos. She experienced a polling bump early in the summer, but that steadily declined as the season wore on and she simply wasn’t able to close the gap.” data-reactid=”41″>The campaign emphasized Hegar’s toughness through press releases — several described her as “Badass Democratic Candidate MJ Hegar” — and ads that incorporated her motorcycle and tattoos. She experienced a polling bump early in the summer, but that steadily declined as the season wore on and she simply wasn’t able to close the gap.

Carter, who never served in the military, was careful to never critique her military experience. He previously told Yahoo News that he respected her service and her story but didn’t think she was a right fit to represent the Lone Star State.

“My opponent has a great story, and the commercial was well-made. I respect her for her service and sacrifice for the country, but frankly, her policy positions are bad for Texas,” he told Yahoo News.

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more from Yahoo News:” data-reactid=”45″>Read more from Yahoo News:

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